In this paper, we present two exploratory comparative case studies detailing the internationalisation of a Chinese mining state-owned enterprise (SOE) and non-state-owned enterprise (NSOE), 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. Emerging market OFDI from extractive industries presents an interesting challenge to established internationalisation theory, which largely evolved through research highlighting the manufacturing activities of large multinational corporations (MNEs) from developed economies. We argue that the strategic behavior of both firms can be explained within existing paradigms albeit, with some interesting extensions. A conceptual framework, integrated with five propositions highlighting their motivations, risk attitudes and multinational experience, is tested. Our paper ends with a conclusion and we highlight relevant managerial implications, limitations and future research directions.