Shares in Paragon Diamonds (LON:PRG) were lifted after it successfully completed the water supply system to its Lemphane bulk sampling plant in Lesotho.
It also announced that drilling had begun on the kimberlite there - with the first of six holes being sunk.
The water system can deliver the required 500 cubic meters a day of liquid to enable the bulk sampling plant to operate at its full design capacity - from the Malibamatso river below.
Meanwhile, Rodio Geotechnics has successfully mobilised one of their crawler diamond drill rigs to the Lemphane site and begun drilling.
Planned is four holes of around 380 m depth will be sunk to hit the kimberlite/basalt contacts at a depth of 350 m below mean surface, as well as two 400 plus m holes to determine characteristics at depth.
Paragon has also commissioned an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project targetted to be completed this quarter, it said.
The study will form a required component to the firm's mining lease application for the Lemphane Kimberlite.
Paragon managing director Stephen Grimmer said: " The functioning water supply system will overcome past difficulties associated with recent droughts in Lesotho, and allow us to accelerate and rapidly complete our present bulk sampling program.
"We anticipate that drilling will also proceed rapidly, and allow us to develop a greater understanding of the Lemphane Kimberlite at depth, in particular, an accurate volume determination beyond the conceptual 30Mt to -200 m provided by the initial 43-101 independent technical report of 2010, and the planned EIA is an essential component of our mining lease application currently in preparation."
Shares were up 2.53% at 20.25p.