I've refrained from commenting on every twist and turn of Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Northern Orion's (AMEX:NTO) joint bid for Meridian Gold (NYSE:MDG), but I figure now is as good a time as any to catch up on the story. That's because Yamana just extended the deadline of its hostile bid for the fourth time, and raised the cash portion of the offer for the second time.

So much for August's "full, fair, and final price." It looks like Yamana is not prepared to walk away from this deal, no matter how many times Meridian shareholders demur. Looking at the price of gold, it's not that hard to see why. Spot gold has risen about 14% since Yamana made its initial intimation of a friendly takeover offer in late June, and the streetTRACKS Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD) exchange-traded fund just hit an all-time high.

Yamana's offer now values Meridian at $35.18 Canadian per share, which just so happens to be worth $35.18 American. In case you missed it, the Canadian loonie just hit par with the dollar for the first time since 1976. The dollar's steady slide is putting quite the twinkle in many a goldbug's eye.

As for that valuation, it's proving to be quite the moving target. If gold keeps rising, I imagine that Meridian shareholders are going to keep holding out for increased bids. Either that, or they'll pull their previously tendered shares, as has happened with 10 million of them over the past week. That shrinkage doesn't necessarily imply that shareholders have turned against the takeover. But they have successfully called Yamana's bluff, and have everything to gain by remaining noncommittal.

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Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.