seven samples from three kaolin deposits of the quadrilátero ferrífero were characterized by physical, mineralogical and chemical analyses in order to determine their use in the ceramic industry. despite the predominant presence of kaolinite, the variations in the fe2o3 content from 2 to 44%, due to presence of goethite and hematite, resulted in different colors, namely: white (acm and db), yellow (r5), yellowed red (fs) and red (dv, r1 and am). specimens were burned at 900 and 1100 °c and they almost didn't change color. however, only specimens made with dv and r1 samples reached the technical specifications for the ceramic industry, without fractures and with values of compression strength of 96.2 and 64.2 mpa, respectively. the other samples were made by mixing phyllite in the proportions of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% and burned at 900 and 1100 °c. the bricks made with acm+15f, db+5f, r5+5f, fs+5f, am+5f and burned at 900 oc reached the technical specifications for ceramic industry, without fractures and with values of compression strength between 69.15 and 29.6 mpa.