Kimberlite and lamproite volcanic pipes associated with diamond occurrences are usually considered to be volatile charged piercement structures or diatreme volcanic features from the lower crust or upper mantle. Many copper and base metal ore deposits have associated intrusive breccia pipes which are rich in ore minerals and have been referred to as diatreme in nature.
An intrusion is the material causing the diatremic piercement. Many volcanic processes produce piercement structures through intrusions of igneous rock. However, most igneous intrusions are not considered diatremic.
Diatremes are sometimes associated with deposition of economic mineral deposits. A significant diatreme event was that which formed the giant Sullivan galena (lead-zinc-silver) orebody in British Columbia, Canada. Other diatremes in British Columbia include the Blackfoot diatreme and Cross diatreme.
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