Pershing Gold has acquired exclusive mining and surface-use rights to about 1,600 acres of new, long-term mining leases and 74 unpatented lode mining claims of around 1,300 acres from Newmont USA.

The $6m transaction also includes the acquisition of a new 20-year mining lease from New Nevada Lands, and New Nevada Resources.

The mining leases and claims cover lands adjacent to the company’s 100%-owned Relief Canyon mine in Pershing County, Nevada.

As part of the transaction, a portion of the mineral sub-lease will be converted to long-term mining leases that upgrade Pershing’s mining rights and surface-use rights.

The transaction will consolidate Pershing’s Relief Canyon mine with Newmont’s mineral interests in adjacent properties, reducing the potential royalty while terminating Newmont’s back-in joint venture rights and other contractual permissions on the land.

Following the deal, Pershing will gain increased control over ground adjacent to the Relief Canyon mine, which is considered to be prospective.

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"Our new 20-year mining lease secures our mining rights well into the future and achieves control over where we can locate future mine facilities."

Relief Canyon deposit is open and largely untested on the acquired lands west and south of the current open pit mine. Future exploration core drilling is expected to have significant potential to increase the size of the gold deposit.

The deal will also see Pershing acquiring surface rights to areas suitable for new and expanded mine support facilities, including waste rock storage areas.

Pershing Gold chairman and CEO Stephen Alfers said: "Not only did we gain complete control of the gold discovered to date on the acquired lands, we know that the original Relief Canyon deposit extends into the acquired lands, and with additional drilling we expect to expand the gold resource on these lands.

"Moreover, our new 20-year mining lease secures our mining rights well into the future and achieves control over where we can locate future mine facilities and optimise expanded mine plans."

Image: Pershing Gold acquires land rights from Newmont USA. Photo: courtesy of Pershing Gold Corporation.