At its Crab Orchard, Tennessee facility, Franklin Industrial Minerals specializes in the mining and processing of high-purity, chemical grade limestone into coarse, medium or ground sized aggregate. This facility joins the company’s seven other mining and processing facilities in the U.S., which together offer hundreds of high-quality products with a worldwide distribution.

The Crab Orchard facility features an underground mine, which utilizes room and pillar mining methods and is developed with the help of Computer Aided Design (CAD). The average room height is 30-60 feet and mineral reserves are in excess of 50 years. The mine is dry and is utilized to store highly seasonal high volume products such as fertilizer filler.

Crushing, grinding and milling equipment includes five roller mills as well as the capability to produce either very specialized and closely sized products or a variety of blends. The high-quality products are available in bulk or bag, and sometimes semi-bulk. The processing plant is specifically designed to produce chemical grade raw materials as well as fine ground filler/extenders.

When Franklin Industrial Minerals began a project at its Crab Orchard plant in spring 2008 that would allow it to process chemical grade limestone into a very fine limestone ground powder (90% -325 mesh), the company recognized its need for additional storage to accommodate the new product. “We needed two large storage silos, much larger than our typical silos, that would suit both our plant and product specifications and could be delivered at an economical cost,” said Gary Hankins, Project Engineer for Franklin Industrial Minerals.

After visiting another local plant that featured a Columbian TecTank® silo that had worked with no problems for more than 10 years, the company approached the tank manufacturer for solutions to its storage challenge.

“The silos we proposed were 32’ dia x 112’ tall and they featured a drive-through design that would allow for loading of both truck and rail cars, which were the two principal methods of transport from this facility,” said Crystal Riley, Inside Sales for CST Industries.

Construction of the CST silos began in May 2008 and the first silo was filled in late October. The unloading system was operational a few weeks later. Both silos have a truck loadout system in place that ships up to 500 tons per day. Two rail loadouts are planned to be online in early fall 2009.

“The drive-through design was key for us. This new project requires a significant amount of storage and the ability to move our product efficiently. We feel the tanks from CST allow us to do that,” said Hankins.

Franklin owns and operates eight mineral mining and processing locations across the southeastern and southwestern U.S. supplying hundreds of quality products to thousands of customers in more than 20 major industrial and agricultural markets. Principally known as a major producer of chemical grade high-purity limestone, other minerals produced at one or more locations include alumina trihydrate and crushed stone. Franklin products are readily available in bulk, semi-bulk and bagged quantities, and are sold through both direct sales and an extensive worldwide distributor network. For more information please call (615) 259-4222 or visit

CST’s storage tank systems are specially designed for simple, quick and safe installation, ensuring great value and quick turnaround. Pioneer of the drive-through design, CST is the industry leader and innovator, offering an experienced team of professionals and a brand that has been around since 1893.  All storage tanks are produced at ISO Certified facilities. CST’s silos and tanks are used in dry bulk and liquid applications in more than 125 countries throughout the world. 

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