Anglo American is exploring an initial public offering of its diamond business De Beers, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, with London the preferred venue, one of them said.

The potential listing was the default option, the second person said, although the process is at an early stage. Both were speaking on condition of anonymity because the plans are private.

The London-listed miner set out on Tuesday its plans for a potential break-up via a demerger or sale of some of its assets, as it fights off a £34 billion takeover bid from BHP Group .

CEO Duncan Wanblad said the plan was to spin out or sell De Beers, but did not go into details about how that would be done. Anglo holds 85% of De Beers while the government of Botswana, where its biggest mines are, owns the remainder.

Anglo declined to comment. Botswana did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Anousha Sakoui and Clara Denina; Editing by Veronica Brown and Catherine Evans)