Brazilian iron ore miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce ( RIO) reported a surge in third-quarter profits on the back of good volumes and strong prices. The firm said it earned $2.94 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 23.5% from a pro forma $2.38 billion a year earlier, which assumes Canadian nickel miner Inco had been part of the combined firm for the period. CVRD purchased Inco in November 2006 after a lengthy bidding war involving multiple companies making a variety of proposals. CVRD's profit for the latest quarter equates to 60 cents a share and was 9 cents ahead of consensus estimates. "In the short-term, conditions in the global steel market remain buoyant, with prices high relative to the past," CVRD said in a statement. During the quarter revenue climbed to $8.1 billion, up 9.9% from a pro forma $7.4 billion in the same period a year ago. The strength in the global markets for iron ore helped the company overcome the negative effect of a retreat in the price of nickel. CVRD also had to battle with rising costs as the value of the Brazilian real and Canadian dollar both appreciated. CVRD said it lowered its total debt level during the past three months by $807 million to $18.3 billion from $19.1 billion in the June quarter.