In the present investigation the particle structure in an AA1200 sheet ingot used for litho applications has been studied. Caustic etching of the as-cast material was seen to result in a zone close to the surface with a different etching response. This zone was identified as what is known as a fir-tree zone or an Altenpohl zone [1,2,3,4]. A variation in particle type over the cross section of the as-cast ingot was seen to follow the differences in etching response. After heat treatment of the material, the fir-tree zones were no longer visible, and the accompanying change in particle structure was studied. Samples from the subsurface regions and from a distance of ~20 cm from the surface has been investigated before and after heat treatment. In the as-cast material, the sample from the surface was dominated by featherlike particles with long strings of particles, identified as AlmFe. While closer to the centre Al3Fe and Al6Fe were seen to be the main phases, however, some AlmFe and probably some α-AlFeSi was also found in this sample. After heat treatment, the particle structure was seen to change, and the surface sample contained mainly Al3Fe in addition to a small amount of AlmFe. The change in particle structure during heat treatment is discussed with reference to the change in etching response.