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city, central Georgia. Chiatura lies along the Kvirila River in a deep trench in the southern foothills of the Greater Caucasus range. It is the centre of one of the largest manganese-mining areas of the world. The ore, which was first discovered in 1849, has been exploited since 1879. The city and its ore-enriching plants cluster in the narrow valley, with the mines in the surrounding hills linked by cable railways and aerial carriers. Pop. (2002) 13,835.