"Before turning it back to Aaron, I would like to make a few brief comments on our outlook for gold and copper prices, an outlook which continues to be very positive. Our expectation is that the policy responses to the global financial challenges, like the eurozone issues, will continue to put pressure on reserve currencies, reinforcing gold's appeal as an alternative currency and that one that retains its purchasing power. There are also some very supportive industry-specific trends at work, which will complement this.
On the official sector front, central banks purchased 455 tons last year, almost 6x the level in 2010. And we've just seen recent buy from Mexico, Russia and Turkey, which added about 45 tons in March. There continues to be a huge attitude change with the central banks. The high inflation rates in India and China are also increasing the appeal of gold as a way to protect capital, and there are more and more ways to buy gold as a result of continued Asian market deregulation.
For copper, GDP growth rates and the industrialization of emerging economies continue to bode very well for increased demand, and our expectation is that mine supply copper is expected to be constrained over the longer term as the industry continues to be challenged to provide a supply response to this expected increase in demand. So we should see demand continue to outstrip supply well into the future, and we continue to remain quite bullish on both copper and gold.
With that, I'll turn it back over to Aaron.
Aaron W. Regent
Thanks, Jamie. So to summarize, as Jamie said, we're maintaining our gold production and cost guidance for 2012, with the expectation that the second half will be stronger with respect to production and lower cost. We believe the fundamentals for gold and copper are positive, and as the largest gold producer, with a strong cost profile, we will be and continue to be a major beneficiary in the current high price metal environment.
Our world-class gold projects are nearing completion. PV will begin contributing production in the middle of this year, and Pascua-Lama will be just behind that. We have a suite of other large projects that will continue to advance and derisk and create options for us for the future. And as Rob indicated, we expect further positive news from our exploration efforts, and we'll provide a more detailed update with our second quarter results. And we will constantly be maintaining a sharp focus on our responsible mining practice and continue to look for ways where we can do better to strengthen our performance."