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Tuesday 20 May, 2008

SQM

SQM Signs Joint Venture Agreement With Migao Co...





SANTIAGO, Chile, May 20 /PRNewswire/ --

    Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock
Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) announced today that it has entered into an agreement
with Migao Corporation ("Migao") to create a joint venture ("JV") for the
production and distribution of potassium nitrate in China. The agreement,
signed on May 18, 2008, establishes a 50/50 contribution to the JV. The first
step of this agreement will be the construction of a new 40,000 metric ton
potassium nitrate facility, which will require a total investment of US$20
million and should be operational by 1Q 2009.


    Patricio Contesse, CEO of SQM, stated, "We are thrilled at this
opportunity to work with Migao in the growing Chinese market, as we believe
the synergies we are creating will benefit us both." He continued, "This
agreement will allow us to further develop our presence in one of the most
important markets for the fertilizer industry, and it is consistent with our
strategy of strengthening our worldwide leadership position in our three core
businesses."


    Mr. Liu Guocai, Migao's CEO, said, "We are very pleased to enter into
this agreement with SQM. This mutually beneficial agreement leverages SQM's
strong international network and Migao's established presence throughout
China. This agreement expedites Migao's ambition of becoming recognized as a
leading international fertilizer company."


    Migao, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, will continue to produce
potassium nitrate in China, and this product will be distributed by the newly
formed JV. In addition, the JV will handle exports of potassium nitrate
produced by Migao or the JV, as well as imports of SQM's potassium nitrate to
China.


    SQM and Migao will now take the next steps to effect the JV, including
seeking the necessary approvals from the Chinese government.


    SQM is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant
nutrients, iodine and lithium. Its products are based on the development of
high quality natural resources that allow the Company to be a leader in
costs, supported by a specialized international network with sales in over
100 countries. SQM's development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the
Company's world leadership in its three core businesses: Specialty Plant
Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium.


    Migao Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns and
operates fertilizer production plants in various strategic locations across
China for the production and sale of specialty potash fertilizer (potassium
nitrate and potassium sulphate) to China's high value agricultural market.
Migao Corporation is subject to, and complies with strict government
regulations that govern safety, quality and environmental protection. Please
visit www.migaocorp.com for further information.



    For further information, please visit our Web site, www.sqm.com, or
contact:


    
    Patricio Vargas,  +56-2-4252274 / [email protected]
    Carolyn McKenzie, +56-2-4252074 / [email protected]


    Statements in this press release concerning the Company's business
outlook, future economic performances, anticipated profitability, revenues,
expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or
service line growth, together with other statements that are not historical
facts, are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under Federal
Securities Laws.


    Any forward-looking statements are estimates, reflecting the best
judgment of SQM based on currently available information and involve a number
of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those stated in such statements. Risks, uncertainties,
and factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements
are identified in the public filing made with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and forward-looking statements should be considered in light of
those factors.


    
    Web site: http://www.sqm.com
              http://www.migaocorp.com





                                                                                                                                                                                   

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