Pershing Gold Announces Thick and High-Grade Gold Intercepts in Seven Holes at Relief Canyon

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCQB:PGLC) ("Pershing Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that step-out drilling continues to expand the high-grade gold zones discovered during the 2013 drilling program in the North Target Area of the Relief Canyon Mine in Pershing County, NV. As shown in Table 1, seven diamond core drill holes intercepted high-grade gold mineralization, with the highest grade intercept in RC14-195 with 5.2 feet of 0.867 ounces per ton ("opt") gold ("Au")/29.7 grams per ton ("gpt") Au, and the thickest high-grade interval in RC14-177, measuring 86.1 feet of 0.104 opt/3.562 gpt Au. These holes are located north of the North Pit as shown in Figure 1. Many of the intercepts listed in Table 1 have significantly higher gold grades than the 0.020 opt Au average grade used to calculate the Measured and Indicated resource and the 0.016 opt Au used to calculate the Inferred Resource in the most recent resource estimate for the Relief Canyon Mine.

In addition, all of the holes shown in table 1 include wide intervals, measuring up to 350 feet, of gold mineralization that also have grades higher than those used to calculate the most recent resource estimate. Pershing Gold anticipates the gold mineralization discovered in the North Target Area holes listed in Table 1 will expand the gold resource at Relief Canyon. The 2014 drilling program is still in progress, and the Company is planning to drill more holes in the North Target Area during the remainder of the year.

Table 1. North Target Area Step-out Drilling Highlights
From To Width Gold Silver
(ft) (ft) (ft) gpt opt gpt opt
RC14-160 360.1 425.2 65.1 1.267 0.037 1.8 0.052
including 418.5 425.2 6.7 8.527 0.249 11.2 0.327
RC14-177 408.1 494.2 86.1 3.562 0.104 12.2 0.335
including 460 485 25 9.641 0.281 13.8 0.402
RC14-179 441.5 506.5 65 1.884 0.055 7.8 0.227
including 465 470 5 10.377 0.303 33.1 0.966
RC14-185 328.4 438.6 110.2 2.021 0.059 6.1 0.178
including 376 381 5 10.103 0.295 16.1 0.470
including 421 426 5 18.493 0.540 18.6 0.543
RC14-193 90 441.7 351.7 0.896 0.026 4.14 0.121
including 253 273 20 4.406 0.129 13.25 0.387
including 415 441.7 26.7 3.464 0.101 6.34 0.185
RC14-195 106.5 307 200.5 0.941 0.027 4.835 0.141
including 301.8 307 5.2 29.7 0.867 126.2 3.68
401 555 154 0.694 0.02 5.877 0.172
RC14-199 465 580 115 1.317 0.038 7.08 0.207
including 486.8 510 23.2 2.995 0.087 16.05 0.469


  1. The reported width is not the true width of the intercept.
  2. Results from all intervals for which we have received and verified results will be posted on our website at

"Our continued success in finding high-grade zones in the Relief Canyon deposit is very exciting because we are encountering thicker and higher grade zones near the mine in areas of historic drilling," commented Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold's Chairman and CEO. "These results suggest that a program of replacement diamond core drilling in areas with previous Reverse Circulation ("RC") drilling may significantly increase the Relief Canyon gold resource because core drilling can achieve better sample recoveries compared to RC drilling and thus provides more accurate information about the location and grade of gold mineralization."

During the 2013 core drilling campaign in the North Target Area, Pershing Gold geologists recognized that a white clay-fluorite mineral assemblage was typically associated with gold mineralization. Subsequent modelling of the gold-bearing white clay fluorite zones that were drilled in 2013 revealed that some nearby historic RC drill holes did not show similar grades or thicknesses of gold mineralization. This finding suggests that the historic RC drilling may under represent both the grade and thickness of gold mineralization.

Figure 2 illustrates the thicker and higher-grade gold mineralization from a core hole compared to a nearby historic RC hole. Core hole RC 14-193 was drilled to test the hypothesis that a nearby, previously drilled RC hole, LRC_005, did not successfully recover representative samples from gold mineralized zones associated with the white clay fluorite assemblages. RC14-193 was drilled to the east at a dip of minus 55 degrees. LRC_005 is a historic RC hole drilled in 1983 to a depth of 385 feet that failed to encounter any significant gold below 150 feet, the depth where ground water was encountered. Both holes, which are in the plane of the section, are less than 25 feet apart at the point shown in Figure 2.

Pershing Gold geologists believe the cause of the under reported gold mineralization was poor sample recovery in both the historic RC holes, as well as in some historic core holes that may not have been drilled with optimal sample recovery techniques. The under representation problem, which results in lower gold grades and thinner mineralized intercepts, appears to be especially pronounced in the white clay fluorite zones because this mineral assemblage is very friable and easily crumbles if not handled properly. Consequently, standard RC drilling and sample recovery techniques are not optimal – especially in holes drilled below the water table – because the fragile white clay fluorite zones probably get washed out of the sample and are never sent to the assay lab. If poor sample recoveries occurred in some of the historic holes, the grades and thicknesses of the gold mineralization in these areas may be significantly under reported and may not be representative of the mineralization that might be recovered from core drilling.

"We plan to drill additional core holes this year to further test our hypothesis that the historic RC database may under report the grades and thicknesses of gold mineralization in areas associated with white clay fluorite," commented Alfers. "Confirming this hypothesis could have significant, positive implications for the Relief Canyon deposit that could ultimately lead to a substantial increase in the gold resource."

As shown in Figure 2, the gold mineralized zone encountered in RC14-193 is much thicker and higher grade than the zone in nearby LRC_005. The current resource estimate for the deposit includes information from a number of historic RC holes that may under report the grades and thicknesses of gold mineralization throughout the North Target Area, one of the principal locations for the white clay fluorite mineral occurrence. A systematic program of replacement core holes in this area could add ounces to the Relief Canyon gold resource.

In addition to testing and expanding high-grade zones, Pershing Gold has completed drill holes in the highwalls of the North and Lightbulb pits and in the jasperoid area. These two aspects of the program utilized specialized diamond core drilling equipment operated by Timberline Drilling of Hayden, Idaho, which is designed to drill horizontal and shallow-angle holes. To date, Pershing Gold has drilled 30 holes into the highwalls of the pits and the jasperoid area using this equipment. Analytical results are available to date for roughly one-half of the horizontal and shallow holes and are available on Pershing Gold's website at The location of these holes is shown in Figure 1.

In addition to identifying broad zones of low-grade mineralization, the highwall drilling program has yielded important information about the structural controls on mineralization. This drilling shows that the deeper mineralized zones encountered beneath the pits steepen upward along fault ramps behind the exposed highwall and appear to merge with gold-bearing zones along the contacts with gabbro dikes and sills.

The area tested using this specialized drilling equipment is in the general location that is expected to be mined in the future as part of a layback to expand the pit. If future metallurgical tests show that heap leach processing can successfully recover gold from this material, it could be placed on the heap leach pad rather than handled as waste rock during future mining of the layback area.

In commenting on the highwall drilling program, Stephen Alfers said: "We expect the results from the highwall drilling program to add ounces to the Relief Canyon deposit adjacent to the current pits. We are very impressed with the capabilities of this specialized drill rig which has allowed us to test areas that would otherwise be inaccessible or impractical to drill." The information obtained from the highwall drilling program will allow Pershing Gold to develop a more accurate mine plan for the pit layback area that can distinguish between material that can go on the heaps and material that needs to be stored as unmineralized waste rock.

Scientific and Technical Data

All scientific and technical information related to drill and surface samples for the Relief Canyon project has been reviewed and approved by Larry L. Hillesland Certified Professional Geologist, who is a Qualified Person under the definitions established by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Drill core at Relief Canyon is boxed and sealed at the drill rig and moved to the Relief Canyon logging and sample preparation facilities by trained personnel. The core is logged and split down the center using a typical table-fed circular rock saw. One half of the core is sent for assay to Skyline, Sparks, Nevada, while the other half is returned to the core box and stored at Relief Canyon in a secure, fenced-off, area. Pershing Gold Corporation quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures include the regular use of blanks, standards, and duplicate samples.

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 and recommissioning of the Relief Canyon mine and processing facilities, commencement of production, anticipated drilling and other exploration on Pershing Gold's Relief Canyon properties, anticipated expansion and upgrade of the Relief Canyon deposit as a result of drilling, estimates of mineralized material and measured, indicated and inferred resources, interpretations of exploration results and other geologic information at Relief Canyon, anticipated expansion of the resource at the Relief Canyon properties, improved mine planning, potential that grade and thickness of gold mineralization in white clay fluorites was under reported by previous reverse circulation drilling results and the reasons therefor, and those 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, inability to obtain external financing to fund the development of plans for and the reopening and commencement of production at the Relief Canyon Mine, planned exploration, permit modifications or to maintain property rights; whether results of planned exploration demonstrate that grade and thickness of gold mineralization in white clay fluorites was under reported by previous reverse circulation drilling results or otherwise expand high grade gold mineralization; whether results of the highwall drilling program are favorable; interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information or unfavorable exploration results that could negatively affect estimates of mineralized material and resources; delay or inability to obtain permits required for planned production, including permits to mine the deposit below the water table, for exploration and other activities; inability to reopen the Relief Canyon Mine under the currently approved Plan of Operations; 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.

CONTACT: Jack Perkins Vice President, Investor Relations 720.974.7254

Source:Pershing Gold Corporation