Rescuers in southern Spain have revealed that the frantic effort to reach a 2-year-old boy who fell into a narrow, deep borehole a week ago has again been slowed by difficult terrain.

Provincial authorities said that a drill used to create a vertical shaft parallel to the waterhole has hit a rocky patch.

There has been no contact made with Julen Rosello, who fell into the 110-metre-deep shaft a week ago during a family meal in the countryside northeast of Malaga.

At just 25 centimetres wide, the borehole is too narrow for adults to enter.

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Drill machines and excavating machinery work on top of the mountain, next to a deep borehole to reach a 2-year-old boy trapped there. Photo / AP
Drill machines and excavating machinery work on top of the mountain, next to a deep borehole to reach a 2-year-old boy trapped there. Photo / AP

The only sign of the toddler search-and-rescue teams have found so far is hair that matched his DNA inside the hole.

Rescuers hope to find him at a depth of 72 metres, where a soil blockage has hampered efforts to go deeper.

A specially-made cage has arrived at the site, ready to lower mining rescue experts down the shaft. The experts then hope to dig a horizontal tunnel to the spot where they believe the boy is trapped in the borehole.

Angel Garcia, the leading engineer co-ordinating the search-and-rescue operation, said on Saturday that the horizontal tunnel would take at least another 20 hours to excavate.

Garcia had said they had hoped to reach the boy some time on Sunday local time, though that depends on everything "going favourably."

Garcia said a drill is perforating a hole, after which two or three experts will be lowered in a cage so they can begin digging a horizontal tunnel to the location where they believe the toddler is.

People across Spain have been gripped by the plight of the boy and his family, as the rescue attempt has suffered agonising delays due to the rocky terrain.

"We are hopeful that we can get to him as soon as possible and bring him to his parents," Garcia said