The effect of bentonite, colemanite ore waste (CW), coal fly ash (FA) and coal bottom ash (BA) on the properties of cement and concrete has been investigated through a number of tests. The properties examined include setting time, bending strength, volume expansion, compressive strength and water consistency of the mortar. The result showed that setting time of the cements was generally accelerated when bentonite replaced a part of the cement. Bentonite exhibited a significant retarding effect when used in combination with CW in Portland cement at lower replacement level and showed an accelerating effect at higher replacement level. Although the inclusion of bentonite at replacement levels of 5-10% resulted in an increase in compressive strength at early ages, it decreased the compressive strength when used in combination with other materials. The results obtained were compared with Turkish standards and, in general, were found to be acceptable. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.