Mineralogical and geochemical techniques have been used to determine the role of minerals in controlling the trace element composition of a set of clay-sized fractions from Albian siliciclastic rocks in NE Spain. These clay-sized fractions are composed of kaolinite and illite, minor quantities of quartz, and accessory heavy minerals. Kaolinite has a smaller crystal size than illite, accounting for its relative concentration in these fractions. The μm-sized heavy minerals are rutile, Fe-Ti- and Fe-oxides, zircon, pyrite, cassiterite, monazite and xenotime. Geochemical data indicate that most of the trace elements are relatively concentrated in clay-sized fractions, except for Zr, Hf, Y and HREE. Statistical treatment shows three different associations in the clay-sized fractions: (1) Rb, Cs and Ba with clay phyllosilicates, especially illite; (2) REE with Th, Y and P phases; and (3) Sc, Cr and V with Ti- and Nb oxides. Therefore, these data do not support the dominant REE control by clay mineralogy that other authors have reported.