Increasing outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from China's extractive industries, particularly its mining sector, is becoming one of the more dramatic aspects of globalisation in the new millennium. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are playing a vital role in China's economic growth and development. However, more and more non-state-owned enterprises (NSOEs) are joining this stream. Emerging market OFDI from extractive industries presents an interesting challenge to established FDI theory, which largely evolved through research highlighting the manufacturing activities of large multinational corporations (MNCs) from developed countries. By drawing on Dunning’s electronic paradigm we have developed a conceptual framework, integrated with four propositions, which can be used as a basis for future research. Our framework intends to underline potential distinctions between the FDI motivations of SOEs and NSOEs in the mining sector.