The Black Gold
Georgia has the largest manganese reserve in Caucasus mountain. As of today there are over 3,000 people working in mine pits in Chiatura City. Mineworkers endure harsh labor conditions, working in a mine tunnels with poor ventilation system, the working shift of 8-12 hours and monthly salary of about 700 Lari ($270). Throughout the years there have been protests against harsh conditions, low salaries and mass dismissal of employees, which resulted in few improvements. Several cases of death rose a question of labor inspections, as workers use equipment that have never been upgraded since installment, dated back in the 50’s.
Chiatura City is also characterized by rusty 60 year old Cable cars as public transportation that have never been replaced. Built during the Soviet era for the mineworkers, to transfer them up and down the mines.
The story concentrates on labor conditions of mineworkers living in Chiatura City, as well as the locals who endure the polluted air caused by The manganese dust, as they have no other place they call home.