Competing bids for strategically valuable mining assets once soared well past reasonable prices. There is little sign of that happening now. Phoenix Gold was the prize in a tug of war between Evolution Mining and Zijin Mining which ended today. The potential for a corporate play was highlighted in these wires: (VIEW LINK) and (VIEW LINK). Bidding which started at 10 cents a share in cash finished at 6.75 cents cash and 8.22 cents in Evolution Mining stock (at today’s close). The nominal 50% improvement in the bid conceals the value upside in the Phoenix assets that an Evolution share does not possess. Phoenix shareholders are better off than they were but not as well off as they could have been if the company's development plans had run their course. Universal Coal, a South African based venture, also received an upgraded bid this week: 25 cents after an initial 16 cents offer in August was knocked back. The $126 million implied valuation remains 8-10% below the valuation behind the PortfolioDirect rating from four months ago referred to here (VIEW LINK).