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Ashburton Minerals to accelerate drilling at Obi Gold Project with second rig

Ashburton Minerals (ASX: ATN) will boost the current drilling program at the Obi Gold Project in Indonesia within the next two days, as a second diamond drilling rig has arrived on site.

Initial delays in the shipment of the rig meant that the program commenced several months later than expected. The second rig, supplied by the current operator PT Indo Asia Resources, is expected to be assembled on site.

The company is targeting gold mineralisation at Obi, which is of the epithermal style with notable zinc, lead and copper credits.

Drilling progress has been steady so far with six holes completed for a total of about 1,433 metres and the first batch of 502 samples has been dispatched from Obi to Jakarta, where they will then be airfreighted to ALS laboratories in Perth.

The batch includes 94 surface geochemical samples (stream sediments, rock chips and magnetic lag samples) collected from the southern extensions of the artisanal gold workings at Obi.

The company anticipates that assay results from the laboratory will be available in late September.

The project encompasses a large artisanal goldfield and surrounding ground covered by a 70 square kilometres exploration licence on the island of Obi, in the province of South Halmahera in eastern Indonesia.

In December Ashburton placed 75 million shares at $0.02 to raise A$1.5 million to fund the drilling at the Obi.

Macquarie Bank (ASX: MBL) was the largest participant, taking up 25 million shares, with other participants including Munich based Schroeder Equities GmbH and institutional and private clients of Foster Stockbroking and BGF Equities.