Tony Williams, a mining entrepreneur who has brought four companies to the London stock market, is lining up about $100m (£50m) to invest in projects in Ukraine, according to an article by Grant Ringshaw, The Sunday Times, London, UK.

The 56-year-old former investment banker, who controls Dragon Group, is in talks with Ukrainian groups to evaluate and finance the mining projects.

Ukraine`s Beregovo district is one of the largest undeveloped ore fields in Europe and is thought to have lucrative deposits of minerals, including zinc, lead, other base metals and gold.

Many western mining groups have shied away firm investing in Ukraine because of the country`s deep political divisions and the feud between President Viktor Yushchenko and prime minister Viktor Yanukovich. Williams is hoping that elections on September 30 will lead to a political deal and greater stability.

"I am a big fan of Russia`s President Putin. If Ukraine could have someone with similar strong leadership, the country has the potential to emerge as one of the powerhouses of central Europe and develop an economy that would surprise many people in western Europe," said Williams. Dragon Group has just opened an office in Moscow.

"I am hopeful that after the elections we can make significant progress and invest more than a $100m." Williams, a Welshman who has earned millions  through promoting mining projects, has a record of bringing companies to  the stock market.

These include UK-listed groups European Minerals, which is also listed in Canada and operates in Kazakhstan, African Copper, which has assets in Bot-swana, European Diamonds, which operates in Lesotho, and Arian Silver. The four groups have a combined market value of more than $1 billion. Williams is chairman of European Minerals and Arian Silver.

This news was monitored by the Action Ukraine Monitoring Service for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, Editor.