The Yangchang granite-hosted Mo deposit is typical of the Xilamulun metallogenic belt, which is one of the important Mo–Pb–Zn–Ag producers in China. A combination of major and trace element, Sr, Nd and Pb isotope, and zircon U–Pb age data are reported for the Yangchang batholith to constrain its petrogenesis and Mo mineralization. Zircon LA-ICPMS U–Pb dating yields mean ages of 138 ± 2 and 132 ± 2 Ma for monzogranite and granite porphyry, respectively. The monzogranites and granite porphyries are calc-alkaline with K2O/Na2O ratios of 0.75–0.92 and 1.75–4.42, respectively. They are all enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs) with negative Nb and Ta anomalies in primitive-mantle-normalized trace element diagrams. The monzogranites have relatively high Sr (380–499 ppm) and Y (14–18 ppm) concentrations, and the granite porphyries have lower Sr (31–71 ppm) and Y (5–11 ppm) concentrations than those of monzogranites. The monzogranites and granite porphyries have relatively low initial Sr isotope ratios of 0.704573–0.705627 and 0.704281, respectively, and similar 206Pb/204Pb ratios of 18.75–18.98 and 18.48–18.71, respectively. In contrast, the εNd(t) value (−3.7) of granite porphyry is lower than those of monzogranites (−1.5 to −2.7) with Nd model ages of about 1.0 Ga. These geochemical features suggest that the monzogranite and granite porphyries were derived from juvenile crustal rocks related to subduction of the Paleo-Pacific plate under east China. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.