Gold Fields Ltd.'s third-quarter profit tripled from the year-earlier quarter as surging gold prices and enhanced efficiency offset higher operating costs, the world's fourth-largest gold miner reported Thursday.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 soared to $293 million, or 40 cents per share, from $95.2 million, or 13 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted net income increased to $301.1 million, or 42 cents per share, from $138.1 million, 20 cents per share, in last year's third quarter.

Total cash cost per ounce rose to $851 from $697

Revenue rose to $1.57 billion from $1.23 billion, said South Africa-based Gold Fields.

The average price per troy ounce received in the third quarter rose to $1,702 from $1,223.

Attributable gold production rose to 900,000 ounces from 872,000 ounces.

The company backed its previous forecast of 2011 gold production at 3.5 million ounces.

Gold Fields has demonstrated its ability to translate the rising gold price to the bottom line with a 62 per cent (sequential) increase in net earnings ... during the September quarter, CEO Nick Holland said in a statement. Over the same period the gold price increased by 14 per cent in U.S. dollar terms.

Gold Fields, the largest gold producer in South Africa, operates mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa.

Shares fell 10 cents to $17.29 on the New York Stock Exchange.