We present data on the composition of metasedimentary rocks from the greenstone belt of the Onot terrane (Sharyzhalgay uplift) and results of U–Pb dating (SHRIMP II) and Lu–Hf isotope study of detrital zircon from garnet–staurolite schists. The metasedimentary rocks of the Onot greenstone belt are dominated by garnet- and staurolite-bearing schists alternating with amphibolites (metabasalts) in the upper part of the section. Compositionally the protoliths of garnet–staurolite schists correspond to sedimentary rocks, ranging from siltstone to pelitic mudstone. The trace-element characteristics of the garnet–staurolite schists indicate that the terrigenous material was derived from three different rock types, such as tonalite–trondhjemite plagiogneisses (elevated Gd/Yb ratios), mafic rocks (elevated Cr/Th ratios and reduced Th/Sc ratios), and felsic igneous rocks formed by crustal melting (the presence of a Eu minimum), which agrees with the set of potential source rocks from the Onot terrane. The age of predominant detrital zircon reflects the erosion of mainly Neoarchean igneous rocks; this fact, combined with the poor rounding of zircon and tectonically active sedimentation conditions accompanied by mafic volcanism, suggests that the probably depositional age is ca. 2.7 Ga. Older source rocks (2.80–3.35 Ga) contributed to the sediment deposition along with the Neoarchean ones. According to the Hf isotope composition of detrital zircon from the garnet–staurolite schists, the source provenances had different crustal prehistories. The source provenances include Paleoarchean and juvenile Neoarchean crust and rocks formed by the mixing of melts from ancient and juvenile crustal sources.