BP Minerals America officials hope to be mining gold by the first quarter of 1989 from mines four miles north of the Kennecott Utah Copper pit.

Frank Fisher, director of external affairs for BP, said the company is attempting to obtain the necessary environmental and construction permits that will lead to the startup of the gold mining operation.The project will open two of the company's properties, the Barney's Canyon and Melco mines. Raw ore will be sprayed with a cyanide solution to leach out the minerals and the material then would be processed at a proposed new facility, Fisher said.

When the gold mining is in full operation, company officials hope to produce about 70,000 ounces of gold annually. BP currently produces about 300,000 ounces of gold annually from existing mineral operations in southwest Salt Lake County.

The project would create about 200 jobs during the eight-year life of the gold mines, with an annual payroll of about $8 million.