Back-scattered electron images of clay minerals from sandstones are used, together with complementary micro-analytical methods, to identify and quantify mineral microporosity and geochemistry. Clay minerals typically have a range of microporosity from 10 to >90% dependent on texture and paragenesis. Fibrous clays are highly microporous; detrital clays have low microporosity but specific clay minerals have broad ranges of microporosity. The often quoted mineral-chemical association between thorium (Th) and kaolinite cannot be substantiated by micro-analysis. The Th content of clay minerals is associated with micro-inclusions within the kaolinite which form diagenetically or are derived from precursor minerals.