Pershing Gold Commences Drilling on the North Target Area at the Relief Canyon Mine, Pershing County, NV

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LAKEWOOD, Colo., July 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pershing Gold Corporation (OTCBB:PGLC) is pleased to announce it started Phase I of the 2013 drilling program at the Relief Canyon Mine property in Pershing County, Nevada on July 22nd. The purpose of the Phase I drilling program is to explore and expand the gold and silver resource north of the North Pit and outside of the current National Instrument NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate boundary.

The Phase I drilling program is expected to consist of 15 to 20 diamond-core drill holes for a total footage of between 10,000 and 12,000 feet within the prospective North Target Area located north of the northern boundary of the North Pit. As shown in Figure 1, this target area is also north of and adjacent to the NI 43-101 resource estimate boundary and measures approximately 1,300 feet wide east-west by 1,000 feet north-south.

The Company plans core holes angled at between 45° and 80° along east-west sections that may range in depth from about 350 feet to 1,250 feet, averaging roughly 620 feet in depth. The program calls for drilling on claims owned by Gold Acquisition Corp., Pershing Gold's wholly-owned subsidiary. Pershing Gold selected West-Core Drilling of Elko, Nevada for the Phase I drilling project. The objective of the Phase I drilling is to expand the resource by testing the extension of both the Main Zone and the Lower Zone into the North Target Area. Figure 1 illustrates the extension of these two zones into the North Target Area.

A map showing the North Target Area is available at

Some of the Phase I plans include drill holes located near several drill holes that contained significant gold intercepts drilled by Firstgold, the former owner of the Relief Canyon Mine. Pershing Gold recently re-sampled and re-assayed some of the Firstgold holes in the Relief Canyon Mine database to confirm the presence of the gold intercepts. For example, the new assay results for NT08-DO4, a 2008 Firstgold hole, 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. 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 (See Figure 1). NT08-DO4 and the other Firstgold holes with gold intercepts north of the resource contained in the Whittle-pit shell boundary were not included in RPA's resource estimate.

The Phase I drilling program is focused on testing a new geologic interpretation that Pershing Gold geologists recently developed based on detailed pit mapping and mapping north of the North Pit in an area containing gold-mineralized jasperoids (highly silicified rocks) as described in our May 30th press release. This mapping program has identified multiple episodes of low-angle thrust faulting which have produced a series of stacked or overlapping shear zones that may be favorable hosts for gold mineralization.

These shear zones dip gently to the west-southwest (see Figure 1) and are thought to contain repeated, tabular-shaped layers of the rock types associated with gold mineralization at the Relief Canyon Mine. Based on this new interpretation, Pershing Gold geologists believe the Phase I drilling program will extend gold mineralization north of the current resource estimate boundary as illustrated on Figure 1.

Pershing Gold is planning additional drilling during the remainder of 2013. As shown on Figure 1, Phase II of the 2013 program would be located east of Phase I and would primarily test targets in the Lower Mineralized Zone. Phase III would occur south and southwest of the South Pit on Gold Acquisition Corp. claims and would focus on extension of the known resource underneath and possibly beyond the existing waste rock piles that themselves contain material with significant gold mineralization, as determined in the 2012 reverse circulation drill program. A fourth phase of drilling would test the newly discovered gold-bearing jasperoids in the eastern portion of the North Target Area. Management believes this previously undrilled area may represent an opportunity to further expand the Relief Canyon gold deposit. Additional external financing will be required for the Phase II, III and IV drilling programs and the Company's subsequent activities.

In describing Phase I of the 2013 drilling campaign, Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold Executive Chairman, CEO, and President, said: "I am optimistic that this drilling effort will allow us to extend the gold mineralization beyond the Whittle-pit shell constraints of the current total in-pit gold resource estimate. Depending on the results of this program we may prepare an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate. During the coming months we will also collect the metallurgical, slope-stability, engineering, and hydrologic data needed for a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) which we expect to complete in the first half of 2014."

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 Inspectorate America Corp., 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 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 the 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 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 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, potential 43-101 compliant resource update, planned preparation of a Preliminary Economic Assessment and the timing thereof 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 planned drilling programs and the Company's future activities including maintaining its land position, interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results, inability to obtain permits required for future exploration or development or production, 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, 2012 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:

Source:Pershing Gold Corporation