LIMA, May 20 (Reuters) - Peru's gold ouput will gradually recover in coming years to reach 6.6 million ounces in 2017, up 35 percent from last year's level, the energy and mines minister said on Tuesday.
Gold production in the world's fifth biggest producer has declined in recent years as deposits dwindle at large mines and local opposition and red tape hold up new projects.
"We estimate that gold output will surpass the 4.9 million ounces produced in 2013 to 6.6 million ounces in 2017, approaching the world's fourth biggest producer, Russia," Energy and Mines Minister Eleodoro Mayorga said at a mining forum.
Peru is the world's fifth biggest gold producer and third largest silver and copper producer.
Mayorga also said silver production will likely rise to 146 million ounces in 2017, up from 118 million ounces in 2013. (Reporting By Patricia Velez and Teresa Cespedes; editing by Andrew Hay)