German investors have anchored a new $18 million share placement by Altech Chemicals that will raise further funds for the development of its processing plant in Malaysia.

Emerging from a trading halt today, Perth-based Altech said German investment companies Deutsche Balaton and Delphi would each take up 5.42 million new shares at 10.85c each for a combined 13.6 per cent of the company.

Existing investors Melewar Group and SMS Investments will also take up $2 million of shares, with the balance of the $18 million to come from other shareholders via a share purchase plan.

Altech shares were 1c lower at 12c as at 9.35am.

Altech said proceeds from the raising would maintain construction momentum while the company awaits finalisation of project finance for its high purity alumina (HPA) plant in Johor.

HPA is used in the production of synthetic sapphire, which in turn is used in LED lights, wristwatch faces and mobile phone components.

Altech’s HPA would be sourced from kaolin clay mined in Meckering in the Wheatbelt.

Total capital development costs for the mining and processing project have been put at nearly US$300 ($420) million.

Altech has already agreed deals with overseas and Australian lenders to fund part of the project via debt and raised the possibility of raising further cash via a partial sell-down of the project.