My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. In California the day rises sunny and fresh: a bike ride to the beach; watch the parade and the politicians perched on expensive convertibles; barbeque and hot dogs (the perfect food); and finally fireworks over the ocean.

By comparison Christmas brings—well you know the rest. Actually the worst part is the predictions of what the following year will bring. Every news story is replete with rosier horizons of production increases, more profit, and cleaner environments. Let us record a few here, store this piece, and return next year to compare prediction to performance.

Goldcorp (from Mineweb): “Goldcorp (GG:NYSE; G:TSX), which says it is the lowest-cost senior gold producer with the best growth profile in the Americas has forecast its 2007 output at around 2.8 million ounces of gold at an anticipated total cash cost of US$150 per ounce. The cash costs are after taking byproduct credits into account and these are reckoned at a conservative $10 per ounce for silver and a perhaps not so conservative $3 per pound for copper.”

Uranium (from Mineweb): "Forward indicators suggest the uranium price is heading to US$90/lb by mid 2007, an increase of 37% from the current spot price (of $65 an ounce when the report was written); and US$115/lb by September 2008, an increase of 75% over the current spot price. These price levels are revised up from our September uranium quarterly which indicated a uranium price of US$60/lb (+ 50%) May 2007 and US$88/lb (+31%) by late 2008. The upward revisions are largely driven by the expected impact to the uranium market of delays at the Cigar Lake project (Cameco) in Canada."

Oil Sands (from Canadian Press): “Suncor Energy Inc. is targeting a "marginal" rise in production next year, while working to increase capacity by more than 30 per cent in 2008. Suncor said Monday it expects average oilsands production of 260,000 to 270,000 barrels per day in 2007, with natural gas production of 215 million to 220 million cubic feet per day. “

Australia (Australian Associated Press): “Mining companies are set to continue to enjoy boom conditions in 2007, although volatility in metals and minerals markets may take some of the gloss off the sector following this year's record highs. But analysts say company bottom lines should still benefit, even though commodity prices are likely to be choppy over the next 12 months as US economic growth slows down and the market eyes the impact on emerging markets like China. Economic forecaster and analyst BIS Shrapnel has forecast the mining boom has at least one of two more years to run, with investment forecast to rise another 11 per cent over the next two years and peak in 2007/08. “

You can get hundreds more like this by searching the InfoMine news channel using 2007 as your keyword. Here is my Christmas recipe for fun: Find your country, company, or commodity and designate one rosy prediction and one gloomy prediction. Store with good brandy for a year. Dust off next December. Enjoy the brandy and smile/weep at the failure of corporate prediction and journalistic foresight.

And while you enjoy the 2007 repast, recollect that with the plethora of predictions being made right now, some at least will be correct. It is one of the laws of systems and statistics. Re systems: somebody will win the lottery, even though the odds are small. Re statistics: consider this story of beating the odds.

TAUPO, New Zealand - A man who plunged 12,000 feet into a blackberry bush after his parachutes failed while skydiving, has said that he cannot wait to jump again! 25-year-old Michael Holmes was skydiving in New Zealand when the incident happened. As he plunged to what was surely a fatal dive, the Brit screamed, "'S**t I'm going to die'.” However it was his lucky day as the thick brambles saved him and he escaped only with a "punctured lung and broken ankle." The incident, which occurred on December 12 at Taupo in northern part of New Zealand, was captured on camera. The professional skydiver said that when his first parachute tangled, he was not too worried. However he was unable to free it and that was when he stared at death. When my reserve failed to open at 1,000ft I thought my life was over," Holmes said. “The next thing I remember is seeing a friend, firemen, ambulances and police dogs. I'm glad to be alive.” He was taken to the Waikato Hospital where he is recovering.”

He, and we, have reason therefore for a merry Christmas/season/holiday or whatever.