(DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The company Georgian Manganese, which owns manganese mines in Chiatura and a ferro-alloy plant in Zestaponi, lost a court case against the government on Tuesday and must pay a 200 million laris (USD over  88.2 million) tax penalty as determined by the Revenue Service.

A spokesperson for the company told journalists that they are still waiting for a document from Kutaisi city court explaining the ruling. After reading the explanation, they will decide whether to appeal.

Georgian Manganese employs about 2,700 people in Chiatura and nearly 1,800 in the Zestaponi smelter plant. The mining work in Chiatura has been shut down for four months, because enough ore is already in storage and market demand has fallen in recent months.

Georgian Manganese filed a lawsuit at Kutaisi City Court after the Revenue Service investigated the finances of the company and issued a 200 million laris penalty.