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Acquisition of the remaining 50% shares in Oreport announced and Oreport announces a partnership with Eramet for the development of mine in Namibia

29 July 2008

Grindrod Limited, the JSE listed shipping and logistics group, this week announced the acquisition of the remaining 50% in Oreport. The Grindrod Trading division currently trades in agricultural commodities through Atlas Trading & Shipping, in marine fuel & lubricants through Cockett Marine Oil and has traded in industrial raw products since it first acquired a 50% share in Oreport in June 2005. This announcement follows the acquisition of the remaining share in Cockett Marine Oil earlier this year.Brendan McIlmurray, CEO of Grindrod’s Trading division said that all the businesses within this division were now 100% owned subsidiaries of Grindrod Limited. He went on to say that there was great growth potential within this division. Oreport, an international marketing organisation specialising in the worldwide procurement, physical movement and distribution of a range of industrial raw materials, was first established in 1985. Also reported in the French press this week was that Oreport, Eramet of France and Otjozondu Holdings would in partnership study the feasibility of the development of manganese mining operation on the Otjozondu deposit in Namibia within the next 18 months. Eramet, has purchased an option from Oreport and their partners to buy a majority stake in the project at a future date and to then implement the drafted business plan. Oreport, currently a 24,5 % shareholder in Otjozondu Mine, and Otjozondu Holdings will remain strong local partners inthis project. Eramet, metal producers and product manufacturers, are listed on the Paris stock exchange. Philippe Vecten, ERAMET’s delegate CEO and head of ERAMET’s Manganese division stated: “this project is a great opportunity for ERAMET to develop its manganese business through a large scale manganese mine in Namibia. The Otjozondu Project could eventually be a major asset for ERAMET and will remain a top priority for us in the next 18 months.” Dr. Hans Wilhelm Runz, Chairman of Otjozondu Mining (Pty) Ltd and Otjozondu Holdings (Pty) Ltd stated: “this project expands the existing operations of Otjozondu Mining and has the potential to bring Namibia on the list of the few large international manganese producing countries and will contribute significantly to the Namibian economy”. Mr Ian Falcon, Managing Director of Oreport, reinforced this view and said that Oreport is excited to be involved in developing this resource and looks forward to the opportunity to provide the logistical and other services to Otjozondu Mining beyond what was initially contemplated The Otjozondu deposit is a rich manganese ore deposit located in the centre of Namibia, approximately 150 km North-East from Windhoek. Mining in this location took place intermittently since the 1930’s and eventually stopped in the late 1980’s. Several tens of millions of tons of ore resources are expected to be identified by the feasibility study. The purchase amount for the balance of the shares in Oreport is not disclosed neither is the purchase amount for the option to buy a stake in the Otjozondu mining project disclosed.

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