Mongolia has shortlisted eight potential partners for its huge Tavan Tolgoi coking coal project, according to Temuulen Ganzorig, deputy director of Erdenes MGL, the Mongolian government company that will hold at least 51 percent of the equity.

Ganzorig said on Friday that the shortlisted bidders included BHP Billiton, India's Jindal, Brazil's Vale, U.S. coal miner Peabody, and China's Shenhua, as well as South Korea's COPEC consortium, a group of Japanese companies, and a Russian consortium including Gazprom and Renova.

There are feasibilities to be clarified, options such as to divide the deposits into two to three blocs, he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing.

Mongolia will select the winners of the highly contested coal mine stake sale by the end of this year, Mongolia's vice-minister of Mineral Resources and Energy said on Wednesday.

Mongolia has hired JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the mine.

Tavan Tolgoi, which holds estimated reserves of 6.5 billion tonnes of coking coal, may be split between bidders from China, Russia, and a leading international miner such as BHP, sources told Reuters previously.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Jacqueline Wong)