LAKEWOOD, Colo., May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) is pleased to announce that it has identified a previously unrecognized zone of highly mineralized, gold-bearing jasperoids that expand the North Target Area and represent an exciting opportunity to increase the gold resource at Relief Canyon. The Company has also confirmed there are significant gold-mineralized intercepts in at least two historic drill holes that are located outside of the current resource estimate in the 2013 NI 43-101 Technical Report that need to be added to future resource estimates. Additionally, Pershing Gold recently sold its equity interest in Valor Gold (OTCBB:VGLD) for approximately $1.5 million.
Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold Executive Chairman, CEO, and President described the discovery of the new jasperoid target and the confirmation of gold in historic holes that are not included in the current resource estimate as significant developments that will likely lead to a significant expansion of the Relief Canyon gold resource. "Pershing Gold geologists continue to upgrade the Relief Canyon deposit through a well executed program that includes detailed geologic mapping and a systematic review of the massive historical database that is available for Relief Canyon. I believe this work will lead to new discoveries that will expand the Relief Canyon Mine gold resource."
Identification of Gold-Bearing Jasperoids Expands the North Target Area
Based on field mapping conducted in March and April 2013, Pershing Gold geologists have identified a promising new gold target that could significantly increase the size of the North Target Area located north of the northern rim of the North Pit at the Relief Canyon Mine. Through detailed mapping and surface rock-chip sampling they found gold-bearing jasperoids that are replacements of deformed (stretched and folded) limestone that have been altered by hydrothermal fluids into highly silicified rocks. These jasperoids occur in fault zones, along sheeted fracture sets and/or foliation surfaces, and extend the North Target Area to the north, east and west (See Figure 1). The black jasperoids locally contain green fluorite and cover a surface area that is about 200 m (656 feet) wide and 230 m (755 feet) long.
The Company's geologists believe that multiple, steeply-dipping, NNE-trending structures have served as primary feeder zones for the fluids that formed the gold-bearing jasperoids within and around the Relief Canyon pits. Other steeply-dipping structures with variable northwest and northeast trends, as well as multiple stacked thrust planes, also appear to be important ore controls where they intersect the NNE feeder zones. Pershing Gold geologists are conducting detailed geologic mapping to refine their understanding of the complex structural controls on the gold mineralization at the Relief Canyon deposit.
Most of this expanded target is located on claims owned by Pershing Gold's wholly-owned subsidiary, Gold Acquisition Corp. The rest is located on claims that Pershing Gold controls pursuant to its minerals lease and sublease with Newmont USA Limited, doing business in Nevada as Newmont Mining Corporation (Newmont) (NYSE:NEM). Pershing Gold acquired the leased claims and adjacent subleased private lands in April 2012 when it purchased the interests of Victoria Resources (US), a subsidiary of Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX:VIT-V) in the 2006 Mineral Lease and Sublease with Newmont. The leased lands and claims are subject to an Area of Interest ("AOI") with Newmont.
The company believes the gold-bearing jasperoids represent a large, untested area of highly prospective geology in the North Target Area. Because this area has never been drilled, there is no drilling information to determine the extent of the gold mineralization. Figure 2 is a cross section through one of the jasperoid zones. Figure 3 is a photograph taken in the newly expanded North Target Area that shows black jasperoid in a deformed limestone host rock.
Figure 1: map showing newly discovered gold-bearing Black Jasperoid is available at: http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/20010.pdf
Figure 2: cross-section N25E is available at: http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/20011.pdf
Figure 3: photograph of Black Jasperoid is available at: http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/20012.pdf
Geochemical analyses for surface rock chip samples collected from northeast-trending black jasperoid-fluorite zones show strongly anomalous gold (Au) and silver (Ag). Samples of northeast-trending jasperoid (feeder) faults average 1.25 gpt Au and 12.2 gpt Ag. Samples covering about 50 meters (164 feet) of true thickness along the hanging wall contact of the deformed limestone host rock average 0.62 gpt Au and 10.7 gpt Ag. Another group of samples representing 25 meters (82 feet) of true thickness along the footwall contact average 0.55 gpt Au and 10.5 gpt Ag (See Figure 2). Additional analytical results for samples collected from the rest of the jasperoid zone are anticipated in the near future.
Mapping and sampling have identified a second jasperoid zone that is located east of the above-described zone and along the same structural-stratigraphic horizon as shown in Figure 1. Additional geologic mapping and sampling efforts are ongoing in this eastern extension of the jasperoid zone.
In commenting about the newly discovered jasperoid zone, Steve Alfers said, "It is truly remarkable that this gold mineralization has remained undiscovered and untested throughout the history of the Relief Canyon Mine. I am confident that our geologists will continue to find additional attractive targets near the mine that will provide potential opportunities to expand the Relief Canyon deposit." Alfers added, "This discovery supports our belief that Pershing County is an under explored part of Nevada which holds promise for new discoveries."
New Assay Data from Historic Drilling Expands Gold and Silver Mineralization
In April 2013, Pershing geologists completed a strategic, site-wide geological re-evaluation of the historic drilling database that involves re-examining and re-assaying the core from selected drill holes of previous operators. The assay results received to date are quite encouraging. For example, results for NT08-DO4 that Firstgold drilled in 2008 confirm the presence of strong gold and silver mineralization from 387.4 feet to 492.0 feet, or 104.6 feet at a grade of 0.033 opt (1.12 gpt) Au and 1.03 opt (35.37 gpt) Ag (Table 1). NT08-DO4 is located on a claim that Gold Acquisition Corp. owns and is approximately 725 feet north of the northernmost boundary of the North Pit.
Re-sampling of core from another historic hole, NT08-D03, which is located about 300 feet east of NT08-04, returned assay results that confirmed a 30-foot interval from 442.0' to 472.0' that averaged 0.01 opt Au (0.39 gpt) and 0.16 opt Ag (5.4 gpt). Additional narrow intervals in NT08-D03 include five-feet from 777 to 782 at 0.039 opt Au (1.34 gpt) and 1.1 gpt Ag, with strongly anomalous arsenic and weakly anomalous antimony, and a 10-foot interval from 857.0 to 867.0' that has 0.047 opt Au (1.62 gpt). Analytical results for core re-sampled from NT08-D01 are pending. Figure 1 shows the locations of these holes. Figure 4 is a cross-section (116N) with drill hole NT08-D04.
Figure 4: Cross-section 116N is available at : http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/19459/file/20013.pdf
Table 1. – Summary of Gold and Silver Intercepts from NT 08-D03 and NT08-D04, North Target Area at the Relief Canyon Mine, Pershing County, Nevada.
|Drillhole||From||To||Width||Au gpt||Au opt||Ag gpt||Ag opt|
Note: True width of intercept is ≥90% of reported width
These new assay data are significant because the gold intercepts in NT08-D03, NT08-D04 or in some of the other older holes north of the North Pit in the general vicinity of these holes were not considered in the recently announced Canadian National Instrument (NI) 43-101-compliant Technical Report and resource estimate that Roscoe Postle Associates USA, Ltd. ("RPA") prepared for Pershing Gold. (See January 24, 2013 press release which describes an in-pit mineral resource estimate of 463,000 ounces of measured and indicated gold, plus an inferred in-pit resource of 101,000 ounces of gold.) http://ir.stockpr.com/pershinggold/press-releases/detail/393/pershing-gold-corporation-increases-mineralized-material-at-relief-canyon-by-a-factor-of-nearly-five-and-announces-an-in-pit-gold-resource-estimate. Figure 1 shows the boundary of the block model resource developed in the RPA NI 43-101 Technical Report relative to the locations of NT08-D03 and NT08-D04.
The silver mineralization in the new assay data for NT08-D04 is particularly noteworthy because the silver values are significantly higher than the silver mineralization typical in the Relief Canyon Main Breccia Zone. This could indicate system zoning, with higher Ag/Au ratios in the mineralization to the north. Alternatively, the higher silver grade could also represent multiple, superimposed precious metal systems.
As noted in our January 24, 2013 press release, historic production from the Main Breccia Zone at the Relief Canyon Mine included recoveries of silver at a ratio of one part gold to three parts silver. However, silver was not included in either the 2010 or the 2013 resource estimates because the database for most of the historic holes does not include silver assays. The silver assay reported for NT08-D04 is part a systematic program to re-evaluate strategically located historic holes and to assay future holes for both gold and silver.
Pershing Gold's program to re-log, re-split, and re-assay strategically located holes in the North Target Area is advancing the Company's understanding of the controls on gold and silver mineralization north of the North Pit. Stephen D. Alfers stated, "I'm very encouraged by the results obtained to date from our geologic re-evaluation program which suggest there is good potential to expand the mineral resource to the North of the North Pit and to add silver to a future resource estimate. This is a great example of how a careful and strategic review of an historic database can enhance the geologic understanding of a mineral system and upgrade the deposit."
Sale of Valor Stock Provides Company with Additional Working Capital
Pershing Gold recently sold its 25 million shares of the common stock of Valor Gold Corporation (OTCBB:VGLD) for net proceeds of approximately $1.5 million. The Company sold 3 million Valor Gold shares in the first quarter 2013 for net proceeds of $300,000 and the remaining 22 million shares were sold in the second quarter 2013 for net proceeds of approximately $1.2 million.
The sale of this stock was part of a plan that Pershing Gold launched in May 2012 when it acquired the Valor Gold Corporation stock as part of the purchase price for the sale of the Red Rock and North Battle Mountain gold exploration properties in Lander County, NV to Valor Gold Corporation. Pershing Gold sold these early-stage projects for $2 million cash and a 1% Net Smelter Return (NSR) production royalty. Pershing Gold used the proceeds from this transaction to help fund the exploration and development program at Relief Canyon in 2012.
In describing Pershing Gold's involvement with Valor Gold, Stephen Alfers stated: "We made the strategic decision to sell the Lander County properties last May so we could focus our resources and attention on Relief Canyon. Similarly, we decided it was time to sell our Valor shares this May to provide funds to advance Relief Canyon. We still retain a royalty on future production from both properties which are located in the Eureka-Battle Mountain Gold Belt – one of Nevada's most important gold trends. This retained royalty provides us with upside potential at these attractive projects."
About the Relief Canyon Mine
The Relief Canyon Mine property includes three open-pit mines and a state-of-the-art, fully permitted and constructed heap leach processing facility. These assets present Pershing Gold with a unique opportunity to achieve a fast-track path to production at the Relief Canyon Mine. 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 an exceptional 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 targeted for 2014, anticipated drilling and other exploration on Pershing Gold's Relief Canyon properties, results of drilling, interpretations of exploration results and other geologic information at Relief Canyon, anticipated expansion of the resource at the Relief Canyon properties, 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.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors Regarding Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated" and "inferred resources", that are defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101; however these terms are not recognized under the U.S. SEC Industry Guide 7. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any or all of measured, indicated or inferred resources are economically or legally mineable or that these resources will ever be converted into reserves. "Inferred mineral resources" have a high degree of uncertainty as to their existence and it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings. You can review and obtain copies of these filings from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
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 Robert B. Hawkins, 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. One half of the core is sent for assay to ALS Chemex, Reno, 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.
Source:Pershing Gold Corporation