Strontianite (Sr 3) is an important raw material for the extraction of strontium. It is a rare carbonate mineral and one of only a few strontium minerals. It is a member of the aragonite group.
Aragonite group members: aragonite (BaCO3), strontianite (SrCO3), cerussite (PbCO3)
The ideal formula of strontianite is SrCO3, with molar mass 147.63 g, (Ca) can substitute for up to 27% of the strontium (Sr) cations , and barium
The mineral was named in 1791 for the locality, Strontian , Argyllshire, Scotland, where the element strontium had been discovered the previous year. Although good mineral specimens of strontianite are rare, strontium is a fairly common element of 370 parts per million by weight, 87 parts per million by moles , much more common than copper with only 60 parts per million by weight, 19 by moles. Strontium is never found free in nature. The principal strontium ores are celestine SrSO4 and strontianite SrCO3. The main commercial process for strontium metal production is reduction of strontium oxide