Press Release

Pershing Gold Initiates 2018 Mine Expansion Drilling Program at Relief Canyon

Company Release - 1/23/2018 1:38 PM ET

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Pershing Gold Corporation (NASDAQ:PGLC), (TSX:PGLC), (FWB:7PG1) ("Pershing Gold" or the "Company"), an emerging Nevada gold producer, announces the start of its 2018 Drilling Program at Relief Canyon.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Pershing Gold has initiated its 2018 drilling program at Relief Canyon (Figure 1).

The 2018 program is focusing on four target areas: the West Step-out area, the North East Pit, the Main Zone, and the South East Lightbulb Pit. The first of two drills has arrived and is currently drilling core hole RC18-500. Drilling is being conducted by Idea Drilling from Elko, Nevada. A second drill is expected to be on-site next week. The budget for the 2018 drilling program is approximately $2.9 million.   An estimated $1 million of this budget is expected to be spent on drilling initial targets, with $1.9 million allocated for follow-up drilling based on these results. 

"The 2018 drilling program is designed to work hand in hand with the Company's plans to advance Relief Canyon to commercial production," stated Stephen D. Alfers, Pershing Gold's Chairman, President and CEO. "This program will target the expansion of the resource at Relief Canyon with the goal of adding near term ounces, continuing to expand the mine life and adding to the production profile for the project," explained Alfers. "We continue to work toward completing the project finance for Relief Canyon. Upon completion of the financing, we expect to begin the six to nine month process of finishing construction at the mine, with the goal of operations to follow thereafter," stated Alfers.

West Step-Out
Pershing Gold has initiated drilling the first of 22 combined step-out and infill core holes aggregating 22,000 feet (~6,700 meters) in the West Step-Out target area. The objectives of this program include upgrading current Measured and Indicated Resource gold ounces to the Proven and Probable Reserve category under Canadian National Instrument 43-101.  Additionally, this program will target the expansion of the resource at Relief Canyon through the completion of 11 step-out core holes along the western margin of the resource.   This is an area where previous drilling indicates that the resource remains open and is a prospective target for potential resource expansion.

North East Pit
The North East Pit area is targeting the up-dip projection of the Jasperoid Zone. This target will be tested by a total of five shallow holes aggregating 1,750 feet (~530 meters).  This target is designed to confirm the continuation of the Jasperoid Zone to the surface beyond the northeast pit wall of the North Pit.

Main Zone
The Main Zone program is comprised of 13 holes aggregating 7,500 feet (~2,300 meters). This program will drill the first hole deeper than 1,000 feet (~300 meters) in the Main Zone.  Previous drill holes in this area reached a maximum depth of approximately 700 feet (~200 meters).  This hole will be located near the historic South Pit and will test for southerly extensions of the Lower and Jasperoid Zones.

South East Lightbulb Pit
Drilling during the 2016 drilling program, Pershing Gold intercepted significant gold mineralization in RC16-498 in an area to the southeast of the historic pit that had not seen previous drilling. A total of eight holes aggregating 6,000 feet (~1,800 meters) of core drilling are planned to potentially demonstrate continuity of the gold mineralization southeast of the historic pit.

About Pershing Gold Corporation
Pershing Gold is an emerging gold producer whose primary asset is the Relief Canyon Mine in Pershing County, Nevada. Relief Canyon includes three historic open-pit mines and a state-of-the-art, fully permitted and constructed heap-leach processing facility. Pershing Gold is currently permitted to resume mining at Relief Canyon under the existing Plan of Operations.

Pershing Gold's landholdings cover more than 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.

Pershing Gold is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PGLC and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol 7PG1.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are "forward-looking statements," including the targets for the planned 2018 drilling program, the timing and cost of the proposed drilling program, the timing of the arrival of a second drilling rig, a potential future production decision for the project, and the anticipated timeline for commencement of production.   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, interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results, inability to obtain permits required for future exploration, development or production, inability to obtain sufficient financing to commence construction and production, and fluctuating mineral and commodity prices. 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 Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and on SEDAR at The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.

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