Gold has a long history in Guinea Conakry. Currently, artisanal mining is experiencing significant technological change, with increased mechanisation and intensified production. The diffusion of accessible technologies such as metal detectors permit individualized forms of mining. The social organisation of production is affected in ways that can exacerbate conflict, or provide incentives for cooperation and knowledge-sharing. In a sector with high population mobility, local preoccupations over sustainability can emerge indirectly in claims over ritual and political control over gold reserves. Entwined with these processes are identity politics and notions of autochthony, with host-migrant relations generating both consensus and conflict. Understanding these processes is important for the elaboration of a transformative approach to sustainability that can acknowledge the complexity of hybrid solutions for mining governance.