Abstract: Relative concentrations of elements in the minerals of fine-grained sediments can be inferred from element-mineral correlation coefficients. The technique is applied to the distribution of REE in Middle Ordovician shales from South Wales analysed by ICPAES, Leco C/S125 and XRD. Phosphate and chlorite show mid-REE enrichment; muscovite + biotite shows mid-REE depletion. The complementarity of the chlorite and muscovite + biotite patterns may be due to fractionation during diagenetic recrystallisation. Partial correlation analysis is used to infer the presence of zircon.