Gold Standard Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit against a London merchant banking firm in a dispute over ownership interest in the Mercur Mine in western Utah.

Gold Standard, a publicly held Salt Lake company, claims the Samuel Montagu & Co. provided the Canadian-based American Barrick Resource, the current operator of the Mercur gold mine, with confidential information that allowed it to acquire the Utah mine even though Gold Standard had a right of refusal on the property.The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court.

Gold Standard put together the original core claims to the 20 square miles that make up the Mercur property, located on the southern tip of the Oquirrh Mountains, in the early 1970s.

It claims Getty, Texaco and Barrick breached contracts and improperly converted its 25 percent participating interest in the property into a 15 percent net profits interest.

The company's claims against Samuel Montagu & Co. precede the 1985 acquisition of the mine by American Barrick Resources from Texaco.

Gold Standard maintains that prior to Barrick's purchase of the Mercur property it was negotiating with Montagu to provide it with financing to acquire the property.

Gold Standard contends that under its original joint operating agreement with Getty, which was acquired in 1984 by Texaco, it had the right of first refusal to acquire any remaining interest in the property which it did not then hold.