In 1950–1975, U.S. Steel flew a number of aeromagnetic surveys in the western United States while exploring for iron deposits. The work was done by U.S. Steel's Western Division, Columbia Geneva Steel Company, and by the Raw Materials Exploration Group. S. G. Sargis, assistant manager of Raw Materials Exploration, and John K. Hayes, manager of the Raw Materials Exploration, organized one of the most aggressive and successful mineral exploration groups in the western United States during this period in their search for raw materials critical to making steel.

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