London-listed gold miners Petropavlovsk and African Barrick Gold retained full-year production guidance, after a strong third quarter, further helping to rebuild investor confidence after missing targets last year.

Latin American precious metals group Hochschild Mining, which did not disappoint last year, also retained its full-year target alongside its third-quarter figures on Thursday.

Russian miner Petropavlovsk had said that output in the three months to end September would be the strongest quarter this year and a key one in terms of meeting its target of 600,000 ounces of gold in 2011.

We regard this to be a significant IMS (interim management statement) that restores confidence in near-term production targets and funding and we expect Petropavlovsk to play catch-up to its peers, said Liberum analyst Dominic O'Kane.

Petropavlovsk has been criticised in the past for over-promising and under-delivering.

It is encouraging to note that they have resisted the temptation to up this target, said Libertas analyst Roger Bade.

Tanzania-focused African Barrick has faced a number of production-related issues since it was spun out from Barrick Gold Corp in March 2010.

Collins Stewart analysts said they expect the company to easily meet its 2011 guidance.

African Barrick's third-quarter profit rose to a record on higher output and all-time high gold prices.

Gold prices rose to a record in early September and were on average 25 percent higher than the year-earlier quarter, while silver surged almost 70 percent.

Stronger precious metal prices have helped boost balance sheets even as cost pressures have grown within the industry.

London-listed Hochschild ended the quarter with about $687 million in cash and African Barrick with $525 million, while Petropavlovsk called its balance sheet healthy.

Higher costs, mainly due to rising labour and energy prices, led African Barrick to raise its cost estimates for the year, outweighing the impact of record profits and pulling the shares lower.

At 1220 GMT, shares in the African miner were down 3.2 percent, while Hochschild was up 1.9 percent.

We expect (Hochschild's) cash costs to remain under pressure in line with the rest of the industry, exasperated by slightly increased royalty rates in Peru, said Cailey Barker, analyst at Numis Corp.

The new tax regime in Peru will apply to results starting from the fourth quarter.

Petropavlovsk did not release details about its cash costs, but said it had benefited during the quarter from the devaluation of the rouble against the dollar.

Petropavlovsk outperformed both, and most of the other mining stocks in a British mining index , jumping as much as 6.8 percent, before trading up 3.9 percent at 1220 GMT.

We believe that the company has now demonstrated its operational capabilities to the market, said Charles Kernot, analyst at Evolution Securities. We do not believe that its shares should be trading at such a heavy discount to those of its peers.

Gold's strong performance has helped lift shares in rival gold miner Randgold Resources more than 20 percent this year.

Randgold is the only pure gold producer in the FTSE 100, although it may be joined later this year by Russia's Polymetal and Polyus Gold, boosting the influence of resources stocks in the index.