mineralogical and crystallochemical transformations of representative ferruginous kaolinitic clay samples were investigated in specimens burned at 800, 1000 and 1200 °c. x-ray diffraction and differential thermal and thermogravimetric analyses showed that kaolinite was the predominant mineral in the raw samples. the m？ssbauer spectroscopy results showed that the high iron content (22.5 wt.%), as determined by x-ray fluorescence, is related to the presence of goethite (18 wt.%) and hematite (16 wt.%). however, after fe was extracted using a dithionite-citrate system buffered with sodium bicarbonate, a residue of this element (fe3+ and fe2+) was found in the structure of the kaolinite. the sintering process showed the destruction of kaolinite, as well as the transformation of the goethite into hematite, the crystals growing as the temperature increases. the hematite crystal size at 1200 °c is five times larger than in the raw sample. the mullite formation at 1000 °c is comprised of a solid solution of fe2o3 and al2o3, which results in a resistant product with a higher thermal stability.