I couldn't possibly keep up with the wild action going on in mining company M&A, but this morning brings another development on the most volatile situation in the sector - the battle for Canadian nickel miner Inco. Readers will recall that Inco is engaged in a friendly tie-up with copper king Phelps Dodge, and that zinc miner and fellow Canadian Teck Cominco has lobbed in increasingly aggressive hostile bids.
Today brings a new entrant, Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce. CVRD, the world's biggest iron miner, fired over a hostile bid of around $15B (plus debt assumption). Inco may not have wanted an auction, but they've got one now.