The Sydney-based company is now listed on the Australian Securities Exchange after Wintech shareholders approved a name change to Direct. Shares are expected to resume trading within weeks.
Windward Prospects has agreed to invest up to $5 million in Direct at 36.5c per share.
The first $1.85 million has already been received and the balance will be subscribed for at the election of Windward as Direct's Perth demonstration plant progesses.
Direct's DNi industrial-scale test plant is at the CSIRO's Australian Minerals Research Centre.
A 200-tonne laterite sample from Indonesia arrived in Perth last week in time for the start of commissioning of the stage one test plant from January 7.
Direct's patented DNi process is touted as being the only process capable of treating the full laterite profile from limonitic to saprolitic ores in a single flowsheet using nitric acid.
Around 95% of the nitric acid can be recycled and re-used as a processing reagent, which vastly reduces the amount of waste produced and avoids the costly neutralisation and disposal of used acid.
The CSIRO and the Australian Government Growth Partnership have committed a further $2 million in funding as well as technical services, taking its total investment to $3.5 million.
Direct also owns a 50% stake in the Mambare nickel project in Papua New Guinea with Regency Mines.
This year the partners announced a JORC resource containing 1.53 million tonnes of contained nickel.
Direct also has partnerships with Canada's Teck Resources, which has contributed $2.7 million for stage one of the test plant with an option to contribute a further $5 million for stage two, and OZ Minerals.
Mining entrepreneur and Direct founder Julian Malnic resigned as executive chairman prior to the listing but remains a shareholder.