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Pershing Gold Corporation Reports Fall 2012 Drilling Program Expands Mineralized Zone 500 Feet Beyond Current Pit Boundaries at the Relief Canyon Mine

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LAKEWOOD, Colo., Dec. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) is pleased to announce the results of its Fall 2012 drilling program at the Relief Canyon Mine in Pershing County, Nevada. The results of this program are expected to contribute new ounces to the Relief Canyon resource estimate that Roscoe Postle Associates, LTD, USA is currently preparing and is expected to complete in December 2012.

The drilling program was comprised of 83 holes (27,300 feet) and designed to accomplish three objectives: (1) to expand the resource in the Main Breccia Zone south of the existing South and Light Bulb Pits, the southernmost pits at Relief Canyon; (2) to evaluate the gold mineralization potential in a 1980's-vintage waste rock dump; and (3) to drill a series of piezometer holes (well holes in which groundwater level may be determined) to define the depth to the water table in the vicinity of the pits. National Drilling completed the drilling program using standard reverse circulation procedures.

In commenting on this drilling program, Stephen Alfers, Pershing Gold Executive Chairman, CEO, and President remarked, "We are very excited about this round of drilling which expands the area of mineralization in the Main Breccia Zone up to 500 feet to the south of the southern boundaries of the South and Light Bulb Pits. It also shows that there is mineralization exposed at the surface in all three pits and in the waste rock dump southwest of the pits."

Drill Results

Table 1 (included below) presents the highlights of the drilling results; the drill hole locations are shown in Figure 1. Significant mineralized intercepts include RC12-040R with 55 feet of 0.046 ounces per ton ("opt") gold ("Au") (1.575 grams per ton ("gpt") Au) from 105 to 160 feet and RC12-082R with 100 feet of 0.024 opt Au (0.822 gpt Au). Also notable are the number of holes shown with mineralization at and near the surface. The mineralization occurs on unpatented mining claims owned by Pershing Gold's subsidiary, Gold Acquisition Corp., and on private lands that Pershing Gold sub-leases from Newmont USA Limited, doing business in Nevada as Newmont Mining Corporation ("Newmont") (NYSE:NEM). Pershing Gold acquired these lands in April 2012 when it purchased Victoria Resources (US)'s/Victoria Gold Corp.'s (TSX-V:VIT) interests in Victoria's 2006 mineral lease and sublease with Newmont. The leased lands are subject to an Area of Interest ("AOI") with Newmont.

Figure 2 shows the expanded area of mineralization in the Main Breccia Zone target type south of the South and Light Bulb Pits. This mineralized zone remains open to the south and west. As discussed in our press release dated July 12, 2012, this mineralized zone is also open to the west. The thickness of the Main Breccia Zone varies from 10 feet to more than 100 feet. The Company's drill results indicate that this zone is typically mineralized and altered wherever it is encountered, with gold grades of 0.005 opt to more than 0.05 opt Au. Please refer to our press release dated July 12, 2012. [http://ir.stockpr.com/pershinggold/company-news/detail/333/pershing-gold-drill-program-expands-and-upgrades-ore-grade-mineralization-at-relief-canyon-mine].

Figure 1: Map featuring Pershing Gold's Fall 2012 drill hole Location map is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/17015.pdf.

Figure 2: North-South cross-section through the North and South Pits at the Relief Canyon Mine is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/17016.jpg

The Main Breccia Zone is developed at a fault contact between the Grass Valley and Cane Springs Formations. As shown in Figure 2, previous mining activities at Relief Canyon exploited – but did not exhaust – this mineralized zone. As described in our press release dated September 17, 2012, two other gold bearing zones are also present at Relief Canyon: the Lower Zone, which is approximately 200 feet below and sub-parallel to the Main Breccia Zone; and the Feeder Zones. Please refer to our press release dated September 17, 2012. [http://ir.stockpr.com/pershinggold/company-news/detail/353/pershing-gold-reports-results-and-progress-toward-reopening-the-relief-canyon-mine.]

Waste Rock Dump Drilling Program

The second element of the Fall 2012 drilling program was to determine whether the waste rock dump located in Section 20 southwest of the South Pit contains gold. Based on the results obtained from the 16 shallow holes drilled in this waste rock dump, Pershing Gold is encouraged that these previously mined rocks may become a future resource.

The waste rock dump contains over 1 million tons of rock that was considered too low-grade to be placed on the heaps and leached when it was mined in the late 1980s, when gold prices varied from about $360 to $500 per ounce. At today's gold prices, economic cut-off grades are significantly lower; consequently, this historic waste rock dump may have potentially mineable gold values. Significant intercepts in the waste rock dump include RC12-103R from 0 to 80 feet with 0.010 opt Au (0.342 gpt Au), RC12-104R from 0 to 70 feet with 0.009 opt Au (0.308 gpt Au), and RC12-106R from 35 to 65 feet with 0.10 opt Au (0.342 gpt Au).

Depth to Groundwater Study

The third component of the Fall 2012 drilling program was to drill nine holes that were completed as piezometers specifically designed to measure the depth to groundwater in the vicinity of the pits. Figure 1 shows the piezometer locations. Schlumberger Water Services of Reno, NV helped design and implement this hydrogeological investigation.

In addition to providing data on the elevation of the water table directly below and near the three pits, several of the piezometers intercepted gold mineralization such as RC12-033R (located in the Light Bulb Pit) with from 0 to 125 feet with 0.012 opt Au (0.041 gpt Au), and RC12-094R (located in the North Pit) from 0-20 feet with 0.036 opt Au (1.23 gpt Au). The two southernmost piezometers (RC12-087R and RC12-088R), which are located well south of the South and Light Bulb Pits, also contain mineralized intercepts as shown in Table 1.

Plans for the Remainder of 2012

All drill results from the 127 drill holes (61,000 feet) that have been completed since late 2011 will be incorporated into a new resource estimate that is being prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates, LTD, USA. The new resource estimate is anticipated to be completed in December of 2012.

The Company has initiated a detailed mapping exercise in the pits and adjacent areas to collect structural data that will help refine our understanding of the complex geology at Relief Canyon. Additionally, this work will identify new drill targets that we plan to test during the first half of 2013.

Detailed geologic mapping and rock sampling of Pershing Gold's extensive land position in the Pershing Pass area at the south end of the Humboldt Range is currently in progress. This work is expected to generate several drilling targets that will be tested in 2013.

Plans for Early 2013

The Company plans to continue its efforts to expand the gold resource at Relief Canyon in early 2013 with a diamond drilling program designed to extend gold mineralization in the Main Breccia Zone further to the south in Sections 20 and 21. This program will include some infill drilling along the margins of the North and South Pits.

The Company plans also to continue the ongoing effort to refine its understanding of the Relief Canyon geologic system and the controls on mineralization. So far, this work has developed two new target concepts that are expected to be tested as part of the 2013 drilling program: (1) the potential for north-trending, steeply-dipping feeder zones north of the North Pit; and (2) whether thrust faults are one of the primary controls on mineralization and have potentially created stacked mineralized zones, (e.g.; the Main Breccia Zone mineralization on top of the Lower Zone mineralization). The Company plans to test this concept in 2013 with deep core holes south of the currently defined Lower Zone.

"Since acquiring Relief Canyon in August 2011, Pershing Gold has significantly advanced this asset through a program of intensive and strategic exploration drilling and ongoing work focused on reopening the mine and heap leach processing facilities," commented Stephen Alfers. "We are especially enthusiastic about the Fall drilling campaign which, along with Pershing Gold's previous drilling, has shown that gold mineralization in the Main Breccia Zone is open to both the south and the west. The presence of gold in the historic waste rock dump, in the Feeder Zone and the Lower Zone presents the possibility that this material could add ounces to the resource. These three opportunities are among the low-hanging fruit that we intend to evaluate further with future drilling, sampling, and metallurgical testing."

Table 1. Summary of Gold Intercepts Relief Canyon from the Fall 2012 Relief Canyon Drilling Program, Pershing County, Nevada

Hole ID From To Width Au gpt Au opt Description and Location
feet
RC12-031R 0 45 45 0.274 0.008 Piezometer in South Pit
110 150 40 0.411 0.012
RC12-032R 0 80 80 0.342 0.01 Piezometer in North Pit
RC12-033R 0 125 125 0.411 0.012 Piezometer in Light Bulb (LB) Pit
RC12-034R 140 160 20 1.062 0.031 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-035R 155 165 10 0.445 0.013 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-036R 240 270 30 0.411 0.012 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-037R 185 215 30 0.342 0.01 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
230 240 10 0.445 0.013
RC12-038R 50 90 40 0.582 0.017 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-039R 85 105 20 1.301 0.038 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-040R 105 160 55 1.575 0.046 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-045R 345 365 20 0.445 0.013 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-046R 15 40 25 0.171 0.005 Main Breccia South of South Pit
330 340 10 0.514 0.015
RC12-047R 190 195 5 1.438 0.042 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-048R 435 450 15 1.610 0.047 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-050R 370 375 5 1.438 0.042 Main Breccia South of South Pit
450 465 15 1.062 0.031
RC12-052R 0 65 65 0.342 0.01 Section 21 waste rock dump
280 365 85 0.445 0.013 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-055R 100 110 10 0.753 0.022 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-056R 100 155 55 0.377 0.011 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-058R 105 145 40 0.788 0.023 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-061R 360 400 40 0.342 0.01 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
420 440 20 0.240 0.007
RC12-062R 380 425 45 1.096 0.032 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-063R 200 220 20 1.301 0.038 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-064R 185 220 35 0.479 0.014 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
280 285 5 0.411 0.012
RC12-066R 250 275 25 0.274 0.008 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-067R 440 445 5 0.274 0.008 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-068R 370 375 5 0.308 0.009 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
455 460 5 0.274 0.008
RC12-069R 330 405 75 0.308 0.009 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
420 430 10 0.308 0.009
RC12-070R 325 400 75 0.651 0.019 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-071R 415 420 5 0.240 0.007 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-072R 345 365 20 0.240 0.007 Main Breccia South of Pit
390 400 10 0.377 0.011
RC12-075R 330 335 5 0.274 0.008 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-076R 290 315 25 0.274 0.008 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
370 375 5 0.274 0.008
410 415 5 0.411 0.012
RC12-078R 375 380 5 0.514 0.015 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
400 440 40 0.445 0.013
RC12-079R 305 385 80 0.479 0.014 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-080R 265 280 15 0.274 0.008 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-081R 195 215 20 1.370 0.04 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
260 265 5 0.411 0.012
RC12-082R 200 300 100 0.822 0.024 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-083R 185 220 35 1.062 0.031 Main Breccia South of LB Pit
RC12-085R 25 35 10 0.240 0.007 Light Bulb Pit
RC12-086R 20 75 55 1.096 0.032 Main Breccia Light Bulb Pit
140 145 5 0.582 0.017
RC12-087R 415 440 25 0.308 0.009 Piezometer hole South of Pit
RC12-088R 0 15 15 0.377 0.011 Piezometer hole South of Pit
500 515 15 0.240 0.007 Main Breccia South of Pit
RC12-089R 130 140 10 1.267 0.037 Main Breccia South of South Pit
RC12-091R 45 75 30 0.377 0.011 Light Bulb Pit
RC12-092R 0 35 35 0.274 0.008 Light Bulb Pit
RC12-094R 0 20 20 1.233 0.036 Piezometer in North Pit
RC12-095R 0 40 40 0.959 0.028 Piezometer in North Pit
RC12-096R 0 35 35 0.479 0.014 Piezometer in North Pit
RC12-097R 0 20 20 0.342 0.01 Piezometer in South Pit
RC12-098R 0 40 40 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-099R 0 10 10 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
30 50 20 0.205 0.006
RC12-100R 10 65 55 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-101R 0 15 15 0.205 0.006 Section 20 waste rock dump
60 65 5 0.205 0.006
RC12-102R 10 20 10 0.240 0.007 Section 20 waste rock dump
40 60 20 0.308 0.009
RC12-103R 0 80 80 0.342 0.01 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-104R 0 70 70 0.308 0.009 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-105R 0 20 20 0.616 0.018 Section 20 waste rock dump
50 65 15 0.377 0.011
RC12-106R 0 20 20 0.479 0.014 Section 20 waste rock dump
35 65 30 0.342 0.01
RC12-107R 0 55 55 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-108R 5 10 5 0.240 0.007 Section 20 waste rock dump
35 40 5 0.308 0.009
RC12-109R 0 25 25 0.342 0.01 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-110R 10 45 35 0.240 0.007 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-111R 0 15 15 0.342 0.01 Section 20 waste rock dump
30 50 20 0.240 0.007
RC12-112R 0 30 30 0.308 0.009 Section 20 waste rock dump
50 100 50 0.342 0.01
RC12-113R 10 25 15 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
RC12-114R 0 40 40 0.274 0.008 Section 20 waste rock dump
Note: The reported width is not the true width of the intercept. Results from all intervals for which we have received and verified results will be posted on our website at www.pershinggold.com

Scientific and Technical Data

All scientific and technical information for the Relief Canyon project has been reviewed and approved by Rick Walker, P.Geo, 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. Reverse circulation chips are split at the drill rig with approximately 3 to 6 kilograms of cuttings saved for assay from each 5-foot sample. The samples are stored in a fenced area until picked up by Inspectorate. Reverse circulation and core samples are analyzed by Inspectorate, Reno, Nevada, 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 Corporation is a new gold exploration and development company focusing on acquiring, exploring, and developing gold deposits in Pershing County and elsewhere in Nevada. The Relief Canyon Mine property in Pershing County is owned by Gold Acquisition Corp., the Company's wholly owned subsidiary.

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 plan to commence production at the Relief Canyon mine and advance the Company's exploration projects, 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 recommissioning of the processing facilities, and the reopening and commencement of production at the Relief Canyon Mine, planned exploration or maintain property rights; interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results, inability to obtain permits required for planned production, exploration and other activities, 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, 2011 and each subsequently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Current Report on Form 8-K. The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.

CONTACT: Stephen D. Alfers Executive Chairman, President and CEO Phone Number: 720.974.7248 Email: investors@pershinggold.com www.PershingGold.com

Source:Pershing Gold Corporation