The project includes the Magura Neagra and Piciorul Zimbrului prospecting licences, where previous exploration by Romania's state exploration company, IPEG Cluj, demonstrated prospectivity for polymetallic mineralisation.
The previous estimates indicated a non-JORC compliant exploration target of up to 3 billion tonnes of ore to a depth of 600m, at grades ranging from 0.4-0.8% copper and 0.3-0.5g/t gold at Magura Neagra.
Vast noted that six veins of associated copper and gold mineralisation were also previously identified at Piciorul Zimbrului through underground development.
The current drilling programme will include 2,000m of diamond drilling at Magura Neagra, with a focus on five previously identified veins, as well as 2,000m at Piciorul Zimbrului , focusing on the six previously identified veins.
The drilling campaign expected to be complete by the end of December when all core samples would be submitted to the ALS laboratories in Rosia Montana for copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, gold and silver assays.
Vast CEO Andrew Prelea said that while the two licences weren't as developed as the company's other assets, such as the already-producing nearby Manaila mine and the near-term production assets at Baita Plai and brownfield Blueberry, the licences were "highly compelling by virtue of the historic assessments … which pointed to both licences demonstrating sufficient size and scale to warrant a comprehensive exploration campaign".
He said talks were also advancing with institutional investors and the completion of the drilling campaign was essential to securing the exploration licence in the first half of 2019.
Vast's shares were down 4.02% Monday to 0.48p.