Business & Finance

Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. and IAMGOLD Corp., a pair of Canadian mining companies hoping to merge and become Canada's fourth-biggest gold producer, turned down separate takeover offers Monday, Bloomberg.com reported. Wheaton River, a Vancouver company that mines gold and silver, rejected a $1.8 billion offer from Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. of Idaho. IAMGOLD of Toronto gave a thumbs-down to a $2.1 billion bid from Golden Star Resources Ltd., a Colorado firm that mines gold in Africa. Shareholders will vote on plans for a possible $2.1 million merger of Wheaton River and IAMGOLD on June 8.

At the request of the Federal Communications Commission, representatives of MCI Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc., two of the largest US phone companies, have signed an agreement over network leasing rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. They thus became the first major telecom companies to negotiate a solution on what a local phone company can charge a long-distance company to lease their lines. The details of the pact, which could offer a model for breaking an impasse in the industry and keep disputes out of the courts, were expected to be announced Tuesday.

Fortis Inc., a Canadian power company based in St. John's, Newfoundland, has struck a deal with Aquila Inc., an American energy merchant based in Kansas City, Mo., to buy nearly 70,000 miles of power line serving roughly half a million customers in Alberta and British Columbia, for $1.08 billion. According to Bloomberg.com, the purchase also adds four British Columbia hydrolectic plants to the Canadian utility, a subsidiary of which operates four hydroelectric power plants in New York.

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