Manganese Mines and Deposits of Georgia

From the 19-th century Georgia has been known as having important reserves of manganese oxide and carbonate ores. By the end of XIX century Mn at the
chiatura mine
was discovered by the well-known Georgian poet Akaki Tsereteli. As a result of further exploration commercial presence of Mn has been proven in Chkhari-Adjameti and Shkmeri deposits and the Kvirila Mn-bearing basin.

All commercial deposits are due the Middle Alpine mineralization epoch (for getting geologic & metallogenic framework, please,
here). In Oligocene time the Maikop basin was subject to typomorphic dyagenetic and autigene mineral formation (Khamkhadze, 1982; 1984; Ore...,1982, etc.) consisting of glaukonite, chalcedony, manganese minerals. By that time large carbonate and mixed carbonate-oxide ores have been deposited at the northern and southwestern edges of the Dzirula massif (Chiatura, Kvirila, Chkhari-Adjameti basins, etc.). These ores underwent entire or partial dyagenetic and autigene alteration up to oxide and peroxide ores. Calculations of mineral balance (Dzotsenidze, 1969) indicated that Mn washed out from the Greater Caucasus and the Dzirula weathered granites was insufficient for the deposit formation, and postvolcanic hydrothermal supply of this metal is to be taken into account (Khamkhadze, 1982; 1984). Participation of the hydrothermal matter into sedimentation, dya- and epigenesis processes is outlined by typomorphic mineral composition of Mn-bearing layers: opal, glaukonite, zeolites (clinoptillolite), montmorillonite with only minor terrigenous fraction (Machabeli, 1982).

Manganese ores consist of different types:
1.    Mixed carbonate-oxide ores are mainly presented by manganocalcite, rodochrosite and other carbonate minerals;

Carbonate-Oxide Ores at Chiatura Mine. A. Tvalchrelidze Mineralogical Museum,

I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

2. Oxide ores are composed by psylomelane and pyrrholusite;

Oxide Ores at Chiatura Mine. A. Tvalchrelidze Mineralogical Museum,

I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

3. Peroxide (oxidized) ores (so-called "Mtsvari") were formed as a result of oxidation of Mn carbonates and oxides. They include ranhierite and vernadite. Of course, deposits contain mixtures of these main ore types.

Peroxide Ores at Chiatura Mine. A. Tvalchrelidze Mineralogical Museum,

I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Table below illustrates official data on ore grade and reserves in main manganese deposits of Georgia (Tvalchrelidze, 1998). Thus, Mn reserves are limited, and the Chiatura Mine would rest main metal supplier for the ferromanganese plant in Zestaphoni for 10-20 years only.

Manganese Reserves in Main Georgian Deposits (after Tvalchrelidze, 1998)

Deposit Ore Type Mn gra- Reserves, thousand t
de, 1969-72 1995
% Ores Mn Ores Mn
Chiatura Oxide Peroxide Carbonate 27.8 33.4 16.6 96,970 44,289 90,909 26,958.7 14,792.5 15,090.9 84,376 24,377 90,909 23<456.5 8,141.9 15,090.9
Chkhri-Adjame-ti Oxide Peroxide Carbonate 24.8 28.2 15.8 3,756 3,574 2,709 931.5 1,007.9 428.0 3,756 3,574 2,709 931.5 1,007.9 428.0
Kvirila Oxide Carbonate 23.3 19.2 3,000 24,000 699.0 4 608 3,000 24,000 699.0 4.608.0
Shkmeri Oxide Carbonate 28.9 20.7 1,225 5,173 354.0 1,070.8 1.225 5,173 354.0 1,070.8
JS Company "Chiaturmanganumi" traditionally produced manganese concentrates of the first (MnO2 87%) and the second (MnO2 82%) grade and "washed out" manganese tailings of the first (MnO2 48-49%), the second (MnO2 46-47%) and the fourth (MnO2 23-25%) grade. Today production of the first grade concentrate is stopped, of the second grade - sharply decreased whereas industrial demand on the low-grade production is quite limited.


Dzotsenidze G.S. (1969) - Role of volcanism in sedimentary rocks and ores formation. Moscow, Nedra Publ., 364 p. (in Russian).

Khamkhadze N.I. (1982) - Oligocene tectonic hydrothermal activity of districts with siliceous-manganese sediments in Georgia. VI IAGOD Symposium, Collected Abstracts, Tbilisi, 292-293.

Khamkhadze N.I. (1984) - On the relationship of silica and ore formation in manganese deposits in Georgia, USSR. In: G. Morvai (ed.) Geology and Geochemistry of Manganese, Budapest, Hungarian Acad. Sci. Publ., 427-431.

Machabeli G.A. (1982) - Peculiarities of sedimentogenesis and dyaagenesis of Oligocene manganese bearing rocks in Georgia. VI IAGOD Symposium, Collected Abstracts, Tbilisi, 297-298.

Ore deposits of the Caucasus (1982) - G.A. Tvalchrelidze (ed.) Gudebook. Tbilisi, Metsniereba Publ., 141 p.

Tvalchrelidze A.G. (1998) - Solid mineral resources of Georgia. Centre for Strategic Investigations and Development, Bull.# 9, 54 p. (in Georgian).