Robust Resources (ASX: ROL) has two large multi-commodity projects in Indonesia on Romang Island, both concentrated on volcanic centres. Robust is exploring prospective ground previously owned by Billiton during the 1990s, and the Ashton Mining Group using owner-operated drilling rigs.
Lakuwahi, in the south of Romang, has near-surface gold and silver, while a significant poly metallic base metal discovery also exists with thick intersections of economic base metals underlying the gold and silver deposit. At the North Romang Project, initial exploration has demonstrated a porphyry system with a focus on gold and silver.
Robust Resources (ASX: ROL) has updated ongoing activities at the company’s core asset, Romang Island in Indonesia, with key operational steps including logistic and management appointments.
The company said it has significantly improved transport and logistics activities to and from Romang Island.
This month, Robust has reached agreement with local Indonesian aircraft operator PT ASI Pudjiastuti Aviation (SUSI Air) for up to 20 hours of charter flights per month between Kupang and Kisar.
Robust considers this a key development, as it will allow for drilling samples to be transported off Romang at more regular intervals, in addition to enhancing transportation of personnel and supplies. SUSI Air is the largest operator of Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft in the Asia Pacific Region.
Gary Lewis, managing director, said “over the past few months, we have been working alongside local companies to ascertain and evaluate areas to strengthen transport and logistics activities around Romang Island."
"As we move towards taking full ownership of this world-class asset, it is vital that we have in place operational procedures and infrastructure that are conducive to increased levels of activity, and ultimately resource definition."
"In line with this, we are currently awaiting assay results of the latest nine drill holes from the Lakuwahi Project, and we expect to announce these results within the next few weeks. Moving forward with the air charter agreement in place, we will be able to provide shareholders with more regular updates from our accelerating drill programme,” he added.
Drilling at Romang has been ongoing, and has now stepped up with the arrival of the fourth owneroperated diamond drill rig. The company is targeting an aggressive drilling campaign in FY 2011, with activity centred on the company’s two key prospect areas - Batu Mas and Batu Hitam.
Robust will be expanding its in-house drill fleet to six in FY 2011, allowing for increased exploration across the Lakuwahi Project, as well as the commencement of drilling at the highly prospective Solat Project in the north of the island.
Robust has approved the FY2011 budget of $10 million of which over 80 cents in every dollar will be injected directly into the exploration programme on Romang.
Key initiatives of this budget include funding for an aggressive +20,000 metre drill campaign, including contracting of an RC rig to accelerate resource delineation and continuation of the IP survey at Lakuwahi, with expansion to the Solat Project.
Metallurgical testwork on precious and base metals will be continued and expansion of exploration teams including three additional geologists and a drilling manager to drive safety, training and production – bringing the total to over 100 people working on Romang Island.
The company will Increase charter flights to facilitate better access to site for personnel and supplies and will boost infrastructure on Romang and Kisar with purchase of vehicles, generators and a sample preparation lab (Kisar).
There will also be a heightened community development presence and programme.
Robust has also announced the appointment of highly experienced explorationist George Katchan as General Manager, Indonesia. Katchan’s diverse and varied work experience encompasses 27 years in gold and base metal exploration of which twelve years were spent on foreign assignment (including eight in Indonesia).
He has also held a number of senior managerial roles in the resources industry, including his appointment as Managing Director of Pegasus Metals Limited (ASX: PUN), his most recent position.
Gary Lewis commented, “the appointment of a General Manager to our Indonesian operations represents a key milestone for Robust as it confirms our ongoing commitment to support development of the Romang Island project and to make significant investments in the business, when and where required.”
The company said it is moving towards full ownership of the Romang Island Project with the acquisition of the remaining 25% awaiting shareholder approval at the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in July, details of which the company will advise shortly.