Robert Dures passed the matriculation examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1890 and the intermediate examination in Arts (equivalent to the first year of study for the BA degree) the next year. He subsequently moved to the Witwatersrand and in 1897 became a member of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa (from 1902 the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa). By 1905 he was an assayer at Bonanza Ltd, Johannesburg. A few years later he contributed two papers to the society's Journal: "Notes on the assay of mine samples" (1912/3, Vol. 13, pp. 608-610) and "Notes on waste rock values" (1913/4, Vol. 14, pp. 233-235).
Dures died sometime before 1940. He was survived by his wife, Anna Elizabeth Dures.