The Rust site has been updated with the big news that the game will finally be leaving early access after over four years. The target date is set for February 8, 2018. There are no plans for "any big reveals, launch parties, around the world tours or cash prize giveaways for this event. We're not going to move staff onto other projects. It's very much going to happen without much fuss. It's business as usual."
The blog goes on to say that, while Rust will be considered "released", it's by no means a finished game. The plan is to keep updating and improving the game, though development updates will be provided on a monthly basis rather than weekly. In addition, players will be able to assist by testing upcoming patches and features on the Staging Branch.
Of particular note for anyone who does not yet own the game: The current price is $20. After release, the price will go up to $35.
You can read the rest of the post on the Rust site.