A crofting township in Sunart in SW Highland Council Area, Strontian lies on the north side of Loch Sunart near the head of the loch. In 1724 Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope opened lead mines which were operated intermittently during the 18th and 19th centuries and in 1790 the settlement gave its name to the natural element Strontium which was first discovered here. The mines were last active in the 1920s but in the 1970s a barytes quarry was opened to provide drilling muds for North Sea oil wells. In the 1960s Strontian became a centre for local services, tourism and forestry on the route to Ardnamurchan from Corran Ferry. In 2003, the new Ardnamurchan High School opened in Strontian at the cost of £7 million.