There was still no word from British Petroleum Co. officials in London by press deadlines Thursday on negotiations to sell its worldwide mineral interests to RTZ Corp., one of Britain's largest firms, for nearly $4 billion.
British Petroleum is the parent company of BP Minerals America, the Salt Lake-based parent company of Kennecott Utah Copper and other precious metal and basic metal properties in several countries.Sources close to BP Minerals, who asked not to be identified, have told the Deseret News the deal is "signed, sealed and delivered, but the only thing company officials will confirm is that negotiations are in process. They said any further announcements will be made "in due course."
Frank Fisher, a spokesman for BP Minerals, said the company has received no information other than the fact that negotiations are under way.
John Andes, a spokesman for BP America Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, said he has received no information but acknowledged that what's being discussed in the negotiations is all of British Petroleum's international mining interests in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.
Rumors of the negotiations surfaced in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, but other than a brief statement acknowledging the negotiations had started, company officials have said nothing.
RTZ formerly was known as Rio Tinto Zinc Mining Co. and is well-established in mining and diversified natural resources, employing nearly 80,000 internationally. The company earned about $502 million in 1987 compared to $441 million the year before.