Ultrafine beta-silicon carbide (beta-SiC) powders were successfully synthesized by carbothermal-reduction reaction (CRR) of sepiolite. Sepiolite of Turkish deposits as a silica (SiO2) precursor and carbon black as a reducing agent were mixed with constant C/SiO2 molar ratio of 4. Mixed powders were subjected to CRR at temperatures of 1450, 1500, and 1550 A degrees C for 1 h in an atmosphere-controlled tube furnace under argon flow of 5 cm(3)/min. The precursor and resultant powder products were characterized by XRD, SEM, and EDX. Phase transformation was observed in powder products after CRR as a function of the reaction temperature. The results show that the cotton-like nature of sepiolite makes it an effective mineral precursor for synthesis of SiC powders, and that SiC transformation was optimized at 1550 A degrees C with a particle size of approximately 200 nm.