(REUTERS) -- The CME Group, the world's leading derivatives market place, is on target to launch cleared over-the-counter gold in Europe by the end of 2011, and wants to boost the number of contracts it clears, a top official said on Tuesday.

We're on track for our European clearing house to be able to clear gold, just as we already offer that in the U.S. with our U.S. clearing house, Harriet Hunnable, CME managing director for metals, told Reuters.

We're looking to add to the number of contracts that we clear through both our U.S. clearing house and also through CME Europe, she added, without giving further details.

CME Group Inc said in June it aimed to expand its clearing service to over-the-counter base metals products in the United Kingdom, in a race for a market seen growing due to regulation.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) said in May it was considering building its own clearing house, sparking interest from potential suitors for the world's biggest industrial metals exchange.

Analysts have said CME Group is likely to be among the suitors. Hunnable declined to comment.

I can't address that speculation at the moment on the LME, Hunnable told Reuters Insider television.

There is a lot going on in the exchange space...but I really can't comment on what will happen in the future, but we are focussed on the growth of our business and investing in that at the moment.

That includes launching an option on the CME's steel contract this week, she said.

That's a reflection of customer demand, she said.

Our physical consumers in the U.S. who are trying to manage their exposure to the steel price, which is very volatile, want to have options so that they can manage risk...and CME group is going to provide that.