The looming battle for BHP Billiton's Nickel West operations is heating up, with reports suggest- ing six bidders had entered into the due diligence process.
Channel 9's business show reported yesterday that China's MMG, Canada's Sherritt International and Dutch multinational Trafigura had entered the race.
_WestBusiness _ has previously flagged mining giant Glencore, Mick Davis' X2 Resources and China's Jinchuan Group as potential suitors for the business, which some suggest could fetch more than $800 million.
It is understood due diligence has been pencilled in for the next few months, with BHP keen to finalise a deal by year's end.
Labelled the worst-kept secret in the mining industry, BHP formally revealed Nickel West was on the market in May following long-running speculation.
The Nickel West business includes its Mt Keith, Cliffs and Leinster mines and associated concentrators, plus the Kalgoorlie smelter, Kambalda concentrator and Kwinana nickel refinery.