Darkveti Sand


On the banks of the Kvirila river, between the villages Sareki and Darkveti, I found this old abandoned sand factory; ‘Darkveti Sand’.

The Kvirila river originates in northwestern Georgia and has many industrial sites along it banks. As a matter of fact, Darkveti Sand is one of these factories. Sand mining presents opportunities to extract rutile, ilmenite, and zircon, which contain the industrially useful elements titanium and zirconium. The sand factory is located in a small village named Darkveri, it lies close to the city Chiatura in the Imereti province. The banks of the river were, and still are, a working landscape, dominated by manganese mining operations and facilities.

Although this may be true, today the banks of the river are dominated by empty buildings. Nonetheless, the region was very vibrant during the Soviet era when the population was almost triple the current figure. Regardless, it remains one of the largest industrial regions of Georgia. The Chiatura mine is still active today. As a result, the river is heavily polluted over the years.

Because of the many industrial sites, the state developed a rail link to transport sand and manganese ore to Zestaphoni. Some old trains are rusting on the old Darkveti Sand factory grounds. I visited this abandoned sand producer along the Kvirila river in 2019. Although most of the buildings are abandoned today, a small business still uses the site.

Built 1900s
Abandoned 1998
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