LAKEWOOD, Colo., June 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCQB:PGLC) ("Pershing Gold" or the "Company") announces its plans to drill a new target and its significant progress toward re-opening the Relief Canyon Mine, its plans to expand the Relief Canyon Mine in 2015, its ongoing development drilling to continue to expand the Relief Canyon resource, and its efforts to identify and develop new exploration targets in the Company's 25,000 acre land package.
"In this progress report on our 2014 program, we first announce the filing with the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") of our Notice of Intent to drill a new silver rich gold target approximately two miles north of our Relief Canyon Mine area," said Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold President, CEO and Executive Chairman. "Second, we report our progress in meeting significant metallurgical, permitting, geological and engineering milestones on our way to reopening the Relief Canyon Mine."
Notice of Intent to Explore New Target Submitted to BLM
Pershing Gold recently submitted a Notice of Intent to drill a new target north of the Relief Canyon Mine. There is no evidence that this target has been drilled in the recent past. Numerous rock samples from this target area contain gold and silver. A sample from fault zones exposed in old cuts at one of these targets returned a value of 0.073 ounces per ton ("opt") or 2.512 grams per tonne ("gpt") gold ("Au") and 7.74 opt or 246 gpt of silver ("Ag"). A soil grid located over this zone has identified an anomaly of gold and silver mineralization along a trend more than 2,000 feet long and about 200 feet wide.
"The high gold values and the very high silver values in these samples taken approximately two miles north of Relief Canyon Mine suggest a new and different type of mineralized system from the one we are developing within the Relief Canyon Gold deposit," said Alfers. "The lands under Pershing Gold's control are being explored by a really excellent team of exploration geologists who are generating new targets in this under-explored district at the southern end of the Humboldt Range."
A second target area located on claims that the Company controls nearly one mile north of the Relief Canyon Mine returned a sample that contained 29.2 opt or 1,000 gpt Ag. The Company is planning additional work at this target.
Results from Second Master Composite Column Show 81.8% Gold Recovery
As previously noted in the Company's May 12, 2014 news release, McClelland Laboratories, Inc. ("McClelland Labs") of Sparks, Nevada, has prepared a preliminary metallurgy report on column leach tests of Relief Canyon gold-bearing materials. Results from a second master composite column that have become available since our May news release show an 81.8% gold recovery from a 91-day leach period. The master composite column reported in May shows a 79.2% gold recovery in a 71-day leaching period. Both master composite columns are comprised of ore from the Main Zone of the Relief Canyon deposit.
Pershing Gold believes the high gold recoveries realized from both master composite column leach tests are indicative of the average recovery that future heap leaching of Main Zone ores may achieve. Similarly, the 71- to 91-day leaching periods for the master composite columns can be used to project probable heap leaching cycles of Main Zone ores at Relief Canyon. In commenting upon these results, Alfers noted, "We continue to be very pleased with the high gold recoveries and short leaching timeframes in the column leach tests. These results clearly demonstrate the viability of using heap leach processing to recover gold from the Relief Canyon deposit." Pershing Gold anticipates that a final report on the column leach metallurgy tests will be available in the third quarter of 2014.
BLM in Final Stage of Authorizing Re-opening the Relief Canyon Mine
The Company is continuing to advance discussions with the BLM to authorize reopening the Relief Canyon Mine under the current Plan of Operations. BLM officials toured the mine and processing facilities in May and are currently reviewing the Company's updated reclamation cost estimate, which is typically BLM's final step prior to authorizing a Plan of Operations. Pershing Gold is preparing a Plan of Operations Modification for expansion of the pits at the Relief Canyon Mine. The Company anticipates submitting the modified Plan of Operations to BLM in the third quarter of 2014.
Resource Expansion Drilling
Two drill rigs are currently operating at Relief Canyon with the specific goal of adding near- surface gold ounces to the current resource model. The current program will also test the extensions of high-grade zones encountered in the 2013 program as well as complete selected twin holes of historic drilling. To date, more than 6,000 feet of core drilling has been completed in 2014. One rig is a standard core rig CM-14, and can drill holes from vertical to -45 degrees. The second drill rig is specialized to drill shallow-angle and near-horizontal holes into the pit high wall.
The specialized rig is being utilized along the northeast high walls in the North and Lightbulb pits. Large pads and safety berms are constructed at each drill station. Five stations are planned with five to eight drill holes per station. These drill holes are expected to be shallow-angle holes measuring from 300 to 900 feet in length. To date, two holes of this type have been successfully completed with excellent core recovery and each of those holes drilled more than 800 feet into the high wall.
Alfers described this innovative drill program: "Testing the potential of this promising area using specialized drilling equipment typically employed in underground mines demonstrates the ingenuity of Pershing's team to think outside-the-box. By using this specialized drill rig, Pershing is able to test potential expansion (pit layback) areas along the eastern wall of the current pit without the expense and delays of permitting and constructing additional drill roads outside the pit, while still achieving excellent recovery of core and insight into the geology of the Relief Canyon deposit. We plan to use the 2014 drilling program results to continue to expand the gold resource at Relief Canyon and anticipate we will have a new resource estimate in early 2015."
Skyline Lab Assayers and Laboratories will complete gold and silver assays for all core samples. The lab is certified under ISO-17025 and standard Quality Assurance Quality Control practices are followed. To date the results for three core holes have been received and these results will be posted on Pershing Gold's website in June of 2014. Highlights include drill hole RC 14-160 with an intercept of approximately 65 feet of 0.037 opt or 1.27 gpt Au. This high-grade intercept occurs at a depth of approximately 360 to 425 feet. Results from additional holes are currently pending.
Updated NI 43-101 Report and Internal Economic Analysis
The Company anticipates that an updated NI 43-101 Technical Report ("Technical Report") discussing the resource estimate announced in our March 31, 2014 news release will be completed in the third quarter of 2014. Mine Development Associates ("MDA") is preparing the Technical Report. Following publication of this Technical Report, Pershing Gold plans to complete and to make available the results of an internal economic analysis based on the MDA resource estimate, the gold recovery results from the McClelland Labs metallurgical study, the Company's work with equipment manufacturers and consultants to finalize and optimize mine processes, and current costs and commodity prices. Results of the internal economic analysis are expected to include estimates of anticipated production, cash costs and all in sustaining costs.
About Pershing Gold Corporation
Pershing Gold is an emerging Nevada gold producer on a fast-track to re-open the Relief Canyon Mine, which includes three open-pit mines and a state-of-the-art, fully permitted and constructed heap leach processing facility. Pershing Gold's landholdings cover over 25,000 acres that include the Relief Canyon Mine asset and lands surrounding the mine in all directions. This land package provides Pershing Gold with the opportunity to expand the Relief Canyon Mine deposit and to explore and make new discoveries on nearby lands.
Legal Notice and Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those with respect to the objectives, plans and strategies of the Company set forth herein including the planned reopening of the Relief Canyon mine and processing facilities, potential expansion of the mine, preliminary results of column leach tests and their significance in estimating potential future gold recoveries, amenability to heap leaching and speed of leaching, expectations regarding timing of a 43-101 resource report, plans to complete and publish the results of an internal economic analysis on the Relief Canyon Mine and the timing thereof, the Company's belief that the BLM is completing its final step prior to authorizing mining under the Company's Plan of Operations; expectations regarding timing of the Company's submission of a Plan of Operations Modification for expansion of the pits at the Relief Canyon Mine in 2015, initial drill results from 2014 resource expansion drilling, anticipated benefits of using shallow angle and near-horizontal drilling in the pit high wall, anticipated expansion of the Relief Canyon resource in early 2015, plans to drill a new target north of the Relief Canyon Mine and results of surface samples and other geologic information at Relief Canyon and statements preceded by or that include the words "believes," "expects," "given," "targets," "intends," "anticipates," "plans," "projects," "forecasts" or similar expressions, are "forward-looking statements." Although the Company's management believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that such expectations are, or will be, correct. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company's future results to differ materially from those anticipated. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, whether the preliminary metallurgical results reported are supported by additional technical work and prove to be indicative of the results of potential future operations; whether the Company is able to obtain external financing to fund the development of plans for and the reopening and commencement of production at the Relief Canyon Mine when anticipated or at all; changes in interpretations of the preliminary metallurgical results reported or other technical data; interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information or unfavorable drill or other exploration results that could negatively affect estimates of mineralized material and resources, metallurgy or other technical parameters; unfavorable drill or other exploration results on new targets; delay or inability to obtain permits required for planned production or expansion of the pits, including permits to mine the deposit below the water table, for exploration and other activities; whether the BLM will permit the Company to reopen the Relief Canyon Mine under the currently approved Plan of Operations; delays in permit submissions or processes; general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which the Company operates; the uncertainty of regulatory requirements and approvals; fluctuating mineral and commodity prices; risks of junior exploration and pre-production activities; and maintenance of important business relationships. Additional information regarding the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements is available in the Company's filings with the SEC including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013. The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.
Source:Pershing Gold Corporation