Volcanic pipes, or maar-diatreme volcanoes, form during explosive eruptions of mantle-derived magmas near Earth’s surface. Impressive examples are the carrot-shaped, downward-tapering structures formed by kimberlite magmas. Kimberlites originate from >150 km depth within Earth’s mantle beneath thick continental roots, away from tectonic plate margins. Kimberlite pipes can be significant diamond deposits, and the complex architecture revealed during exploration and mining is ascribed to repeated magma injections leading to multiple eruptions. Repeated magmatic pulses cause diatremes to widen and grow downward, forming kilometer-sized subterranean structures. However, the time-resolved evolution of kimberlite pipe systems is largely unknown. We present the first U/Pb perovskite ages for newly discovered kimberlite dikes (1139.8 ± 4.8 Ma) that cut through the volcaniclastic infill of the Premier kimberlite pipe (1153.3 ± 5.3 Ma) at Cullinan Diamond Mine, South Africa. The ages reveal that renewed kimberlite volcanic activity occurred, at a minimum, 3 m.y. after the main pipe formation. This finding suggests that the largest kimberlite pipes, and maar-diatreme volcanoes in general, may be magmatically active for several millions of years, which conflicts with this volcanism being described as ‘monogenetic’ at millennia time scales. Exemplified by Tier-1 diamond deposits on the Kaapvaal craton, long-lasting kimberlite volcanic activity may be an important factor in growing large diatremes, plus enabling effective transport of mantle cargo from the diamond stability field to Earth’s surface.

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