© De Theije

In Northern Mato Grosso, Central Brazil, we examine what sustainability means for mobile small-scale miners who colonize places and communities through the activity of mining. Relations between miners and the state vary; as do interactions with other land users, for agro-business, cattle ranching, and conservation. In this context, we question how gold mining practices are embedded in processes of Amazonian frontier territorialisation, and what this means for thinking on transformations to sustainability within environment, economy and community. And further, we explore how gold dynamics emerge from the materiality of gold, and the impact of mining on governance and human wellbeing.