Pershing Gold Corporation (NASDAQ: PGLC) (TSX: PGLC) (FWB:7PG1) ("Pershing Gold" or the "Company"), an emerging Nevada gold producer advancing the Relief Canyon Mine, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the environmental permitting process and has secured all of the permits necessary to restart and expand the Relief Canyon Mine.
The permits fully authorize Pershing Gold to begin mining and heap leach processing of the Relief Canyon deposit. Mining activities and facilities covered by the permits include: expanding and deepening the open-pit mine, constructing a new waste rock storage area, significantly increasing the exploration drilling area to allow testing of high-priority targets around the existing pit, installing and operating the mercury emission control equipment in the processing plant, and operating the crusher and other equipment at the heap leach processing facilities.
The major permits now in hand include the Plan of Operations approved by the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM"), the Reclamation and Water Pollution Control Permits issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection ("NDEP")/Bureau of Mining Regulation, and three air quality permits issued by the NDEP/Bureau of Air Pollution Control.
"The successful acquisition of these permits is a major milestone for the Company that significantly advances our ability to begin production at the Relief Canyon Mine," stated Stephen Alfers, Chairman, CEO, and President of Pershing Gold. "We thank BLM and NDEP for all of their hard work in carefully reviewing and approving our permit applications for the Relief Canyon Mine."
Prior to commencing mining activities, Pershing Gold must provide BLM and NDEP with additional financial assurance to guarantee reclamation of the mine site. The Company is making plans to satisfy this financial assurance requirement with a surface management surety bond provided by a third-party insurance underwriter. Pershing Gold anticipates that the cash collateral required to secure this bond will be approximately $1.4 million.